Kathleen Mello-Nevejas v. Annie Rowe

Notice of Ruling on anti-SLAPP motion (Speech at City Council Meeting)


Former City Council member (Plaintiff) was offended by something that was said about her during a City Council meeting, and sued the person who made the statement (defendant) for defamation. Under Civil Code section 47, statements made at a "legislative proceeding" are privileged and therefore not defamatory. The Law Firm of Morris and Stone pursued a special motion to strike (anti-SLAPP motion). Counsel for plaintiff attempted to bring the case under Flatley v. Maruo, which held that illegal speech is not protected and therefore does not fall under the anti-SLAPP statute. Plaintiff asserted that the speech was "illegal" because it did not comply with the rules governing City Council meetings. The court disagreed and granted the anti-SLAPP motion, and later awarded defendant all requested attorney fees and costs.

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Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Elections & Politics Updates

Reference Info:Decision | State, 9th Circuit, California | United States