CalCoastNews appeal on anti-SLAPP ruling

June 29, 2015

justice 2By CalCoastNews staff

Appellate justices will hear arguments Tuesday by attorneys for CalCoastNews that a libel lawsuit pursued by a county waste hauler should be dismissed. The 9:30 a.m. hearing will be held in the San Luis Obispo City Council Chamber, City Hall, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo.

The case, according to a brief filed with the court by CalCoastNews attorneys Davis Wright Tremaine of San Francisco, “arises from CalCoastNews’ reporting about the faulty system of management and transporting hazardous waste in the city and county of San Luis Obispo.”

The lawsuit was filed by Charles Tenborg, whose company, Eco Solutions, contracts with San Luis Obispo County to oversee hazardous waste facilities for the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA).

In the brief to the appellate court, CalCoastNews attorneys said this case “exemplifies why the ‘fair and true report’ privilege, Civil Code Section 47(d) is so vital to journalists in California. The narrow construction of the ‘fair and true report’ privilege that Tenborg urges this court to adopt is contrary to California law, and would hamstring journalists in their ongoing efforts to investigate, evaluate and report on government conduct. Without the ‘fair and true report’ privilege, CalCoastNews reporters and other journalists across the state would be unable to conduct the kind of reporting that the state needs – and the Legislature intended – to hold government agencies accountable to the citizens they serve.”

CalCoastNews’ anti-SLAPP motion was denied earlier this year by Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman, and that decision will be examined by the Second District Appellate Court.

“SLAPP” stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” The law is intended to discourage lawsuits filed for the purpose of stifling public commentary on important civic issues.


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7 Comments

  1. Perspicacious says:

    CCN may be a First Amendment advocate for themselves, but they are far from it when it comes to the comments of its readers on this forum. Their censorship borders on ridiculous. They will not allow any pro-Gesell comments to be posted…and that is just one example. If you are not one of their “chosen few”, your comments rarely are allowed to post in a timely fashion, if at all. Pretty pathetic actually.

    (7) 33 Total Votes - 20 up - 13 down
    • Moderator says:

      This is not the case, there are no posts concerning Gesell in the deleted comments. if you have an issue with moderation it is best to use email rather than create useless noise in the thread.

      (-5) 27 Total Votes - 11 up - 16 down
    • kettle says:

      This may come as a surprise to Perspicacious but the First Amendment has nothing to do with commenting on private websites.

      Just imagine what would happen you went into a cafe and started making the same statement over and over? You would be shown the door.

      I remember the last election, I am surprised you and some others still have accounts after all of that. So hide your name but you must be heard? lol.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  2. SLO_Johnny says:

    I think that Cal Coast News should establish a crowd funding site where we can help cover the costs of defending the First Amendment. I bet many journalists and many people who believe in an independent press would chip in to support Cal Coast News.

    (15) 51 Total Votes - 33 up - 18 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    With so few journalists reporting on anything but cross dressing geriatric former athletes, and the public lapping it up like milk from a saucer, it is very important that what’s left of journalism can rigorously pursue stories without fear of retribution (except in the case of malice against the subject, which is the current standard).

    Judges are in the pockets of politicians so don’t be surprised if freedom of the press is the next right that begins to erode.

    (26) 56 Total Votes - 41 up - 15 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      The internet has brought greater diversity in reporting the news and publishing opinions than has ever existed. This type of lawsuit is becoming about useless because people will re-post the articles on foreign servers outside of US jurisdiction and publish them anonymously.

      (0) 24 Total Votes - 12 up - 12 down
      • hijinks says:

        “The internet has brought greater diversity in reporting the news and publishing opinions than has ever existed.” Cyber optimism or cyber babble? Where’s the evidence for what you say? Do you have any knowledge of historical diversity, or is this just a faith-based statement?

        Internet news reporting, like print reporting, mostly sucks these days. Most of it’s gossip or, as another commenter so eloquently put it, lame stories about “cross dressing geriatric former athletes.” Anyway, reposting what somebody else has written on a foreign website isn’t reporting, it’s reposting. Somebody has to do the reporting legwork, and that’s what suits like this seek to freeze up. This suit is a real threat to our getting facts.

        (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down

Comments are closed.