Legal Memo

ILOH v. Regents of the University of California (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 947. This is a SLAPP action. A University professor filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate to prevent the University from complying with a non-profit organization’s records request under the Public Records Act. The non-profit organization filed a SLAPP motion with respect to the professor’s petition. The Court of Appeal concluded that the organization was engaged in protective activity when it issued the Public Records Act request and the fact that the Petition for Writ of Mandate sought to enjoin future conduct did not render the SLAPP statute inapplicable. The Court reasoned that news gathering activity and other actions contributing to a broadcast report, as the nature of the Public Records Act request, was no less deserving of SLAPP protection than the broadcast report itself. The Court of Appeal sent the matter back to the trial court after it determined that the trial court did not perform the two prong analysis required to determine whether the professor had established a probability of prevailing on the claims advanced in the Petition for Writ of Mandate. The trial court was directed to resolve that matter.