Anti-slapp Lawsuit California
"In 1992, the Legislature enacted Section 425.16 in an effort to curtail lawsuits brought primarily 'to chill the valid exercise of ... freedom of speech and petition for redress of grievances' and 'to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance.' ( 425.16, subd. (a).)
The section authorizes a special motion to strike 'a cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue ... .' ( 425.16, subd. (b)(1).)
The goal is to eliminate meritless or retaliatory litigation at an early stage of the proceedings. . The statute directs the trial court to grant the special motion to strike 'unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established that there is a probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim.' ( 425.16, subd. (b)(1).)" (Gallimore v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Ins. Co. (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 1388, 1395-1396 126 Cal. Rptr. 2d 560, fn. omitted (Gallimore).)
"The statutory language establishes a two-part test. First, it must be determined whether the plaintiff's cause of action arose from acts by the defendant in furtherance of the defendant's right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue. . 'A defendant meets this burden by demonstrating that the act underlying the plaintiff's cause fits one of the categories spelled out in Section 425.16, subdivision (e).' . Assuming this threshold condition is satisfied, it must then be determined that the plaintiff has established a reasonable probability of success on his or her claims at trial." (Gallimore, supra, 102 Cal.App.4th at p. 1396.)
"Whether Section 425.16 applies and whether the plaintiff has shown a probability of prevailing are both legal questions which we review independently on appeal." (Ibid.)
The statute provides that Section 425.16 "shall be construed broadly." ( 425.16, subd. (a).)
In Feldman v. 1100 Park Lane Associates (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1467 the Court held that " 'A SLAPP suit--a strategic lawsuit against public participation--seeks to chill or punish a party's exercise of constitutional rights to free speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The Legislature enacted Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16--known as the anti-SLAPP statute--to provide a procedural remedy to dispose of lawsuits that are brought to chill the valid exercise of constitutional rights. 'Determination of a special motion to strike involves a two-part inquiry. '
"First, the court decides whether the defendant . . . has made a threshold showing that the challenged cause of action is one arising from protected activity. . . . If the court finds such a showing has been made, it then determines whether the plaintiff . . . has demonstrated a probability of prevailing on the claim." ' ' "Put another way, the plaintiff 'must demonstrate that the complaint is both legally sufficient and supported by a sufficient prima facie showing of facts to sustain a favorable judgment if the evidence submitted by the plaintiff is credited.' "
' 'Thus, plaintiffs' burden as to the second prong of the anti-SLAPP test is akin to that of a party opposing a motion for summary judgment.' If the plaintiff fails to carry that burden, the cause of action is 'subject to being stricken under the statute.' " (Feldman, supra, 160 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1477-1478.)
Under the first prong of the anti-SLAPP analysis, section 425.16, applies to an act "in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech" under either the federal or state constitution. ( 425.16, subd. (b)(1).) Such act includes: "any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law; . . . or "any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by an . . . executive . . . body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law . . . ." ( 425.16, subd. (e)(1) &(2).) Communications by government officials, employees, and entities are covered to the same extent as those of private individuals (Vargas v. City of Salinas (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1, 18), and governmental entities and representatives may seek dismissal of actions because they are "persons" within the meaning of the statute (Bradbury v. Superior Court (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 1108, 1114). Federal civil rights claims brought in California state courts are subject to anti-SLAPP motions. (Id. at p. 1114.)