Judge denies Torres request for delay of hearing

August 20, 2013
Mike Brennler

Mike Brennler

A San Luis Obispo judge denied a request made by CAPSLO Homeless Services Director Dee Torres’s attorney to delay a hearing scheduled for Thursday that could halt a suit Torres filed against private investigator Mike Brennler.

Torres alleges Brennler slandered her in a telephone conversation with her former husband, Charles Barber.

Brennler’s attorney Stew Jenkins claims the suit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Jenkins has filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which Judge Barry LaBarbera will hear Thursday.

If the anti-SLAPP motion succeeds, the judge will dismiss the suit.

On Tuesday morning, Labarbera rejected attorney Roy Ogden’s request to delay Thursday’s anti-SLAPP hearing. He also denied a request by Ogden to lift a stay on discovery.

The filing of am anti-SLAPP motion triggers a stay on the discovery process. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It is the label applied to lawsuits filed against critics or opponents to prevent them from being involved in controversies.

In court filings, Ogden is attempting to prove that Torres is not a public figure. If Torres is deemed a public figure, she must prove Brennler knew that what he allegedly told Barber was false or probably false.

Brennler stands by his statements to Barber saying he spoke the truth.

Brennler has alleged that Torres has not been truthful in her attempt to prove that she is a private citizen. In a sworn court declaration, Torres stated that she did not campaign for or seek a seat on the San Luis Obispo County Homeless Oversight Council, even though she applied for the position last December.

Torres and Brennler return to court at 9 a.m. on Thursday.


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This is more about CAPSLO’S taking advantage of the homeless after helping them get SSI under Dee’s sleezy direction, than just keeping years of donated gift cards of significant values that were meant for the homeless.

Torres alleges Brennler slandered her in a telephone conversation with her former husband, Charles Barber.


Another article on this? Sheesh!

Do you people know how small this case is? It should be in small claims court, that’s how small it is. The woman is claiming the slander was one time in a phone call to her ex-husband. One time. To her ex-husband. The only one who heard the allegedly slanderous remark was her ex-husband. What could possibly be the damages? She basically can’t have any damages because one person’s opinion, especially an ex-husband’s opinion doesn’t damage her.

Basically she is limited to the monetary value of the drop in her reputation in the eyes of one person, her ex husband. Now, how much could that be worth? “My ex-husband used to think my reputation was a 5 and now after speaking to the lying investigator he thinks my reputation is a 3”. Ok, how much money do you give her for going from a 5 to a 3 in the eyes of her ex husband? $1? $10? $100? That’s about it.


How much is a drop in reputation worth?? Well didn’t a police chief in Paso get 250K??

How much is a drop in reputation worth?? Well didn’t a police chief in Paso get 250K??


You are not following. This wasn’t a public disclosure such that her reputation to the entire community was damaged. This alleged damage is limited to the decrease in her reputation in the eyes of one person–her ex husband. One event. One phone call. One conversation between an investigator and her ex-husband. That’s where the damages are capped.

Public?, it wasn’t in that case either was it?

Good for the Judge!!! Why or for what reason would a delay be needed?

In this case, our local judge did the right thing. It’s hard to imagine why more time would be needed before getting this entire thing started.

Just from the limited coverage I have read, I would find it hard to imagine that this case wouldn’t be thrown out and court costs awarded…

Good going to Mike and his crew!

My hero. I could kiss Judge Barry (if I were of the proper persuasion of course).

Someone’s going to get lunged at…lol

Well, well, well.

Can’t be too much longer before Hill does one of his pre-simian displays of mate-guarding.

Watch him start texting the judge…….123…. !!!!!!!!!!


Josh and Karen will be on KVEC 920 AM today (Tuesday) to discuss this morning’s court decision.

At what time Dave?

Started 30 minutes ago.