Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - December 19, 2017

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Urick v. Urick (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 1182. This is a SLAPP matter. A trust beneficiary brought a Petition for Instructions which alleged that the Trustee had violated a no contest provision by filing a Petition to Reform the Trust while acting in the capacity of a trust beneficiary. The Court concluded that the Petition for Instructions arose from a pleading filed with the Probate Court and therefore was protected activity under CCP § 425.16(e)(1) and was subject to the SLAPP statute. The reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits was shown because the Petition for Instructions made a prima facie showing that the Reformation Petition which alleged that the Trustor had been misled by false statements and nondisclosure was a direct contest on the ground of fraud.

Medley Capital Corp. v. Security National Guaranty, Inc. (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 33. This is another SLAPP action. In this case, the matter arose in an action for malicious prosecution with the SLAPP motion brought to dismiss the malicious prosecution case. The SLAPP motion was denied and the denial was upheld by the Court of Appeal. The Court found that the plaintiff in the malicious prosecution action had met its burden of demonstrating a probability of success on its claim, including abundant evidence on the issue of malice. The defendant in the malicious prosecution action had been notified no fewer than four times that they were suing the wrong party.

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