Dunning v. Clews (2021) 64 Cal.App. 5th 156. This is a SLAPP matter. Defendants brought an environmental challenge to a development project which was dismissed and the developer thereafter brought a malicious prosecution action against the parties who had brought the challenge and the parties’ attorneys. The court of appeal found that the malicious prosecution claim against the individual defendants should have survived because the developers made the required showing that there was not probable cause for the environmental challenge to the development project and the complaining parties’ allegations of noise did not arise to an environmental impact. There was evidence suggesting consistent and aggressive opposition to any development on the project site as well as harassment of the project’s prior owners, which was sufficient to imply malice. The motion should have been granted as to the attorneys because there was no prima facia showing of malice on the part of the attorneys.
Gregory L. McCoy