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Slapp Suits

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1992
As the former president of a mobile home park homeowners association, and the victim of a SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) suit, I applaud your editorial position regarding SB 1264. ("Putting an End to Intimidation," Aug. 25). The owners of my park have a history of intimidating the homeowners association by using SLAPP suits. I am the second of three association presidents to be sued since 1989. We are all middle-class Americans, living on fixed or average incomes, paying our taxes, voting regularly and serving our small community by chairing monthly meetings of our organization.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1999 | JEFF GOTTLIEB, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Superior Court judge Wednesday dismissed radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger's slander lawsuit against a South Coast Plaza surf shop owner. Judge John Watson agreed with Beach Access owner Tom Moore that Schlessinger's case violated state law that prohibits suits meant to stifle free speech, known as SLAPP suits for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. "We're quite thrilled with the results," said Tawnya Wojciechowski, one of Moore's attorneys.
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BUSINESS
November 17, 1992 | RON GALPERIN
All it took was one phone call to get Annette C. Baecker in trouble. A few years ago, developer Sherman Whitmore planned to give $150,000 to the nonprofit Mountain Restoration Trust to mitigate any negative effects from his 129 proposed luxury homes in the mountains above Burbank. Then, Baecker called the trust to express her opposition to the project and Whitmore's donation plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 1998 | MARTHA BELLISLE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rutted dirt roads carved decades ago by oil explorers are about the only signs of civilization on the grass-covered hills of Mission Oaks Ranch. The serene setting, with cattle grazing and the occasional horseback rider, is lovely to look at but doesn't bring in any money. So owner and developer Dan Alef asked Santa Barbara County officials for permission to divide his 3,877-acre property into 31 ranchettes, 100 acres each, for peace-seeking urban refugees like himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1992
Charging that "citizens are being harassed and intimidated by unscrupulous developers and corporations," Assemblywoman Gwen Moore on Wednesday announced a renewed effort for legislation to protect citizens from lawsuits when they speak out on public issues. The Los Angeles-based Democrat reintroduced a bill she wrote last year, which was passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Pete Wilson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 1991 | JACK CHEEVERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Should grass-roots activists have more legal leeway to protest new housing tracts, sewage plants and other socially useful but locally obnoxious developments? Is it fair to make it more difficult for developers and government agencies to sue these grass-roots rebels? Is democracy enhanced or weakened by expanding the legal rights of citizen-activists while restricting those of builders?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1999 | JEFF GOTTLIEB, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Superior Court judge Wednesday dismissed radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger's slander lawsuit against a South Coast Plaza surf shop owner. Judge John Watson agreed with Beach Access owner Tom Moore that Schlessinger's case violated state law that prohibits suits meant to stifle free speech, known as SLAPP suits for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. "We're quite thrilled with the results," said Tawnya Wojciechowski, one of Moore's attorneys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1991 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A judge Monday dismissed a developer's lawsuit against a woman who voiced environmental concerns about his plans to build 129 luxury houses in the mountains above Burbank. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Arnold Gold ruled that the woman's opposition was protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and the freedom to petition the government. The lawsuit by builder Sherman Whitmore against Annette C.
NEWS
August 28, 1994 | AMY KUEBELBECK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Retired wildlife biologist Art Hawkins has nurtured his sanctuary on the shores of Lake Amelia for 40 years. So when a developer wanted to build townhouses across the lake, Hawkins worried about the environment. He did what he thought a good citizen should do: spoke at public meetings, wrote letters, circulated a petition. And he got sued. Hawkins believes he is among a growing number of people around the country slapped with lawsuits intended to shut them up.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1990 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Los Angeles homeowners group voicing objections over potential environmental hazards posed by the development of nearly two dozen hillside housing sites above Beverly Hills is paying a price for its protests. The developer of the sites has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the North Beverly Drive-Franklin Canyon Homeowners Assn., claiming that the group broke an agreement not to delay the project. Association officers say the action, by R&R Hillcrest Development Co.
NEWS
August 28, 1994 | AMY KUEBELBECK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Retired wildlife biologist Art Hawkins has nurtured his sanctuary on the shores of Lake Amelia for 40 years. So when a developer wanted to build townhouses across the lake, Hawkins worried about the environment. He did what he thought a good citizen should do: spoke at public meetings, wrote letters, circulated a petition. And he got sued. Hawkins believes he is among a growing number of people around the country slapped with lawsuits intended to shut them up.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 1993
A Malibou Lake property owner who unsuccessfully tried to slap a legal muzzle on an outspoken homeowners organization has been ordered to pay the group's legal bills. The decision was hailed Thursday as protecting citizen input in disputes. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Zebrowski on Wednesday ordered Madeleine Drolet to reimburse the Malibou Lakeside Homeowners Assn. for the $10,500 it spent to fight a lawsuit she filed to silence it.
BUSINESS
November 17, 1992 | RON GALPERIN
All it took was one phone call to get Annette C. Baecker in trouble. A few years ago, developer Sherman Whitmore planned to give $150,000 to the nonprofit Mountain Restoration Trust to mitigate any negative effects from his 129 proposed luxury homes in the mountains above Burbank. Then, Baecker called the trust to express her opposition to the project and Whitmore's donation plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1992
Your editorial hit home with me, as I am being sued in federal court with a SLAPP suit by developers and the quasi-governmental agency (the Transportation Corridor Agency). Being a concerned citizen and affected by the TCA's proposed construction of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor through Laguna Canyon, I acted to save this beautiful area of natural wilderness following our environmental protection laws, and now the TCA has SLAPPed me in retaliation. I have to appear in federal court in Los Angeles on Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1992
Charging that "citizens are being harassed and intimidated by unscrupulous developers and corporations," Assemblywoman Gwen Moore on Wednesday announced a renewed effort for legislation to protect citizens from lawsuits when they speak out on public issues. The Los Angeles-based Democrat reintroduced a bill she wrote last year, which was passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Pete Wilson.
NEWS
October 4, 1991 | PHILIP HAGER, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The state Supreme Court on Thursday let stand a milestone $11.1-million malicious-prosecution award against a San Joaquin Valley agribusiness giant for bringing an unwarranted libel suit against three local farmers. The award was the largest of its kind in a counteraction against a type of suit allegedly designed to stifle political opposition. Such a suit is known by critics as a SLAPP, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.
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