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

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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