On May 13, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review in Baral v. Schnitt to resolve the divide among lower courts regarding whether anti-SLAPP motions can strike so-called “mixed” causes of action.
This is a very important case in the anti-SLAPP world, and the Supreme Court may finally clear up the competing decisions as regards mixed causes of action.
Here is how these causes of action typically arise. A homeowner is having a dispute with a neighbor and sues for harassment and infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the neighbor has made false police reports, called child protective services, and has left dog poo on his lawn.
Of those allegations, two are protected activities — calling the police and child protective services. The third, involving the dog poo, is not. So if the neighbor brings an anti-SLAPP motion, how should the court deal with these mixed causes of action?
Some courts have held that the entire claim falls under the anti-SLAPP motion, while others have held that the protected activity allegations should be stricken. Others still have held that the claim survives. Hopefully, this review by the California Supreme Court will finally resolve the issue.