Baral v. SchnittAnnotate this Case
California’s anti-SLAPP statute provides that a cause of action against a person arising from allegations of certain activity shall be subject to a special motion to strike unless the court determines there is a probability that the plaintiffs will prevail on the claim. At issue here was how a special motion to strike operates against a “mixed caused of action” that combines allegations of activity unprotected by the statute with allegations of protected activity. Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint pleading four causes of action against Defendant. Defendant filed an anti-SLAPP motion seeking to strike allegations within a certain cause of action. The trial court denied the motion without deciding whether the complaint contained allegations of protected activity, ruling that the motion applied to the complaint as a whole, not to isolated allegations. The court of appeal affirmed, concluding (1) an anti-SLAPP motion must be brought against a mixed cause of action in its entirety; and (2) Plaintiff established a probability of succeeding on claims based on allegations of activity not protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Legislature’s choice of the term “motion to strike” reflects the understanding that an anti-SLAPP motion may be used to attack parts of a count as pleaded.