You are on page 1of 6

2

3
4
1 LAW OFFICE OF STEWART J. NEUVILLE
Stewart 1. Neuville SBN 135492
M. Hope Aguilar SBN 123444
11845 w. OLYMPIC BOULEVARD
SUITE 1000
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90064
Telephone: (310) 312-8100
Facsimile: (310) 312-8621
5
6 Attorneys for Defendants, LIBERTY CAMPAIGN SOLUTIONS, LLC; PATRICK FUREY;
JUSTICE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (Defunct)
7
[Assigned to the Hon. Kent Kellegrew, Dept. 43]
Action Filed: June 5, 2014
Trial Date: None Set
I CASE NO.: 56-2014-00453855-CU-AT-VTA
Defendal1ts
Plaintiffs,
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF VENTURA
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT on September 18,2014, in the above entitled
TO EACH PARTY AND TO THE COUNSEL OF RECORD FOR EACH PARTY:
STEVEN SOJKA; JEFFREY NEWBY;
12 CAROLINE ST. PETER; TIMOTHY
13 SHANNON; GLEN BECERRA; MICHAEL NOTICE OF RULING ON DEFENDANTS
MCCAFFREY; MIKE NOLAN; individually and LIBERTY CAMPAIGN SOLUTIONS, LLC AND
14 on behalf of all others similarly situated PATRICK FUREY'S SPECIAL MOTION TO
STRIKE PURSUANT TO C.C.P. § 425.16
15
16 vs.
17 JUSTICE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE;
18 TINA MCKINNOR; LIBERTY CAMPAIGN
SOLUTIONS, LLC; PATRICK FUREY;
19 COALITION OF $99 OR LESS DONORS; and
DOES 1 to 100
8
9
10
11
20
21
22
23
24
25
26 Iaction, this Court entered an order granting Defendant Liberty Campaign Solutions, LLC's Special
27 Motion to Strike pursuant to C.C.P. § 425.16
28 A copy of the Minute Order is attached, and incorporated into this Notice by this
1
Notice of Ruling re Sojka v, Liberty Campaign Solutions, LLC; P. Furey
1 reference.
2 Dated: September 24,2014
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20 I
21
22
23
24
1
25
26
27
28
. Neuville
for Defendants
L TY CAMPAIGN SOLUTIONS, LLC;
PATRICK FUREY; mSTICE POLITICAL ACTION
COMMITTEE (Defunct)
2
Notice of Ruling re Sojka v. Liberty Campaign Solutions, LLC; P. Furey
DEPT: 43
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA,
COUNTY OF VENTURA
VENTURA
MINUTE ORDER
DATE: 09/18/2014 TIME: 10:44:00 AM
JUDICIAL OFFICER PRESIDING: Kent Kellegrew
CLERK: Hellmi Mcintyre
REPORTER/ERM:
CASE NO: 56-2014-00453855-CU-AT-VTA
CASE TITLE: Sojka VS Justice Political Action
CASE CATEGORY: Civil - Unlimited CASE TYPE: Antitrust/Trade Regulation
EVENT TYPE: Ruling on Submitted Matter loef.'S Note: Opinion Issued on 09/18/14, at approx. 6:06 p.m. I
APPEARANCES
The Court, having previously taken the Liberty Campaign Solutions, LLC and Patrick Furey's anti-SLAPP
iviotions to Strike under submission, now ruies as foiiows:
The Court GRANTS the special motions to strike. This action arises out of protected activity as the
allegedly defamatory robocall constitutes an oral statement to the public in connection with an issue of
public interest or other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of free speech in
connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest. Plaintiffs have not conclusively established
that the robocall was illegal and therefore not subject to protection under the anti-SLAPP statute.
As such, the burden shifted to plaintiffs to demonstrate a probability of prevailing on the claim. To meet
this burden the plaintiffs must demonstrate that the complaint is both legally sufficient and supported by
a sufficient prima facie showing of facts to sustain a favorable judgment. Defendants have made a rather
persuasive argument that plaintiffs lack standing to bring a private cause of action under 47 U.S.C. 227.
Plaintiffs cannot avoid this argument or meet their burden of demonstrating a legally sufficient complaint
simply by claiming, without any authority, that such an argument should be brought by way of demurrer
and not in an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. In addition, plaintiffs' sole evidence, a one and a half page
declaration from counsel, falls well short of establishing a prima facie showing of facts to sustain a
favorable judgment.
Background: On June 5, 2014, plaintiffs filed a class action complaint for statutory damages for
violations of 47 U.S.C. 227, "the Telephone Consumer Protection Act." A first amended complaint \vas
filed on 6/18/14 and asserts causes of action for: 1) negligent violation of 47 U.S.C. 227; 2) knowing
violation of 47 U.S.C. 227; 3) injunctive relief to bar future TCPA violations; and 4) injunctive relief to
preserve evidence. Plaintiffs claim that defendants sent out a robocall that violated the TCPA to some
18,000 housed in Simi Valley on October 22, 2012.
DATE: 09/18/2014
DEPT: 43
MINUTE ORDER
Page 1
CASE TITLE: Sojka VS Justice Political Action CASE NO: 56-2014-00453855-CU-AT-VTA
A cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right
of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public
issue shall be subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff has
established that there is a probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim. CCP § 425.16(b)(1).
The court must engage in a two-step process when ruling on a defendant's anti-SLAPP motion to strike
a complaint: first, the court decides whether the defendant has made a threshold showing that the
challenged cause of action is one arising from protected activity; if the court finds that such a showing
has been made, it must then determine whether the plaintiff has demonstrated a probability of prevailing
on the claim. Eguilon Enterprises v. Consumer Cause. Inc. (2002) 29 Cal.4th 53, 67. In making its
determination, this court is obligated to consider the pleadings as well as the admissible evidence
submitted by the parties. CCP §425. 16(b)(2).
The complaint alleges that this "case involves an pre-recorded automated telephone political
advertisement sometimes known as a 'robocall,' which occurred in the City of Simi Valley, California on
or about October 22, 2012. The robocall was sent to 18,000 homes in Simi Valley..." FAC p.2:8-10.
The robocall involves the alleged positions, actions and investigation of a candidate for the Simi Valley
City Council. FAC p.2:13-22.
Does the complaint arise out of protected activity? The parties dispute whether the robocall statements
were Constitutionally protected speech.
For purposes of the anti-SLAPP statute, an "act in furtherance of a person's right of petition or free
speech under the United States Oi California Constitution in connection with a public issue includes: (1)
any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or
any other official proceeding authorized by law, (2) any written or oral statement or writing made in
connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or
any other official proceeding authorized by law, (3) any written or oral statement or writing made in a
place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest, or (4) any other
conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of
free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest." CCP § 425.16(e).
Defendants argue that the robocall statements were oral statements made in public in connection with
an issue of public interest or "other conduct" in connection with an issue of public interest. CCP §
425.13(e)(3) and (4). Plaintiffs really do not dispute this. The statement itself involved a matter of public
interest: the use of public money by a candidate for public office. It would therefore seem to be entitled
to anti-SLAPP protection.
However, plaintiffs go on to argue that "illegal conduct" is not protected speech and that defendants'
conduct was illegal. Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that any illegal exception applies. As such, the
complaint arises out of protected activity and the burden shifts to plaintiff to demonstrate a probability of
prevailing on the claim.
Has plaintiff demonstrated a probability of prevailing on the claim?
"In order to establish a probability of prevailing on the claim, a plaintiff responding to an anti-SLAPP
motion must 'state [ ] and substantiate[ ] a legally sufficient claim.' Put another way, the plaintiff 'must
demonstrate that the complaint is both legally sufficient and supported by a sufficient prima facie
DATE: 09/18/2014
DEPT: 43
MINUTE ORDER
Page 2
CASE TITLE: Sojka VS Justice Political Action CASE NO: 56-2014-00453855-CU-AT-VTA
showing of facts to sustain a favorable judgment if the evidence submitted by the plaintiff is credited. In
deciding the question of potential merit, the trial court considers the pleadings and evidentiary
submissions of both the plaintiff and the defendant; though the court does not weigh the credibility or
comparative probative strength of competing evidence, it should grant the motion if, as a matter of law,
the defendant's evidence supporting the motion defeats the plaintiffs attempt to establish evidentiary
support for the claim." Premier Medical Management Systems. Inc. v California Ins. Guarantee Assn.
(2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 464, 476-477 (citations omitted).
Defendants argue that plaintiffs do not have standing to bring a private cause of action under 47 U.S.C.
227. Plaintiffs seem to concede this point and claim that it only means the FAC is subject to demurrer
and not a motion to strike. See Opposition p.2:11-15. Plaintiffs provide no legal authority for this
argument
Even if plaintiffs could amend their complaint to state a viable cause of action, it would still be subject to
an anti-slapp motion to strike. Since defendants have demonstrated that the case involves protected
speech, plaintiffs would still have the burden of demonstrating a probability of prevailing. Plaintiffs
simply have not done that. The one and a half page declaration submitted by attorney Green falls well
short of showing that some new cause of action would survive demurrer and that plaintiffs have a
probability of prevailing on said claim
DATE: 09/18/2014
DEPT: 43
MINUTE ORDER
Page 3
PROOF OF SERVICE
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
1
2
I, the undersigned, declare I am over the age of eighteen years and not a party to the within action or
3 proceeding. My business address is 11845 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 1000, Los Angeles, California, 90064.
4
On , I served the within
5
6
7
8
on interested parties to this action by:
§
facsimile at the listed numbers; and/or by e-mail at the addresses listed, and/or by;
overnight courier and/or by D personal delivery and/or by D regular mail by placing
the oritnaf; true copy(ies), thereof enclosed in sealed envelopes addressed as
follows: as addressed in the attached mailing list:
9
10
11
Mr. Mitchell E. Green
Law Offices of Mitchell E. Green
P.O. Box 630550
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Facsimile: (805) 823-0916
e-mail: MitchGreenLaw@aol.com
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
D BY MAIL [C.C.P. § 1013(a); (+5 days)] I am readily familiar with the firm's practice of collection
and processing correspondence for mailing with the V.S. Postal Service.
Under that practice it would be deposited on that same day with postage fully prepaid in Los Angeles,
California in the ordinary course of business. The envelope was sealed and placed for collection and
mailing on the date of execution set forth below following ordinary business practices.
BY FACSIMILE [C.C.P. § 1013(e); C.R.C. Rule 2.306; (+2 days)] The parties have agreed in writing
to accept and receive service by facsimile.
BY EMAIL [C.C.P. § 1010.6; C.R.C. Rule 2.251; (+2 days)] The parties have stipulated in writing to
accept and receive service by email.
The document was transmitted by facsimile or email and the transmission was reported as complete and
without error by the transmitting device.
D BY EXPRESS MAIL; FEDERAL EXPRESS; V.P.S. [C.C.P. § 1013(c); (+2 days)] I am readily
familiar with the firm's practice of collection and processing correspondence for mailing with U.S.
Postal Service Express Mail, Federal Express or United Postal Service.
D BY PERSONAL DELIVERY [C.C.P. § 1011(a), attorney; § 1011(b), party] I personally delivered such
envelope(s) by hand to the offices of the addressee(s).
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on ,at Los Angeles, California.
23
24
25
M. Hope Aguilar
[Print Name ofPerson Executing Proof] [Signature]
26
27
28