Californians Aware v. Orange Unified School District
Rocco at an OUSD board meeting
- Overturn the censure.
- Declare that the editing of the recording of the meeting was unlawful.
No monetary damages were sought.
The OUSD filed a counter-suit known as an anti-SLAPP suit. In their argument to the court, they said that Rocco, McKee and Californians Aware, by filing their original lawsuit, were attempting to suppress the free-speech rights of the school district.
Ruling of the court
District judge finds in favor of school
Judge Smith agreed with the school district and under the terms of California's anti-SLAPP laws, ordered the original plaintiffs (Rocco, CalAware and McKee) to pay the school district's legal fees of about $37,000.
The state's highest court subsequently declined to hear a further appeal by the plaintiffs.
OUSD and McKee
After the OUSD won a judgment in its favor against Rocco, McKee, and Californians Aware, it garnished McKee's wages to pay the judgment and placed a lien on his home. As of March 2009, approximately $80,000 is still owed, while McKee has paid $59,000.
- SLAPP Ruling Against School Board Member Left Standing, November 13, 2008
- Recent Court Decisions Turn California Law Protecting Free Speech Into a Tool for Government Suppression of Public’s Speech and Access Rights—Action Needed by Supreme Court or Legislature, September 14, 2008
- Recent High-Profile Civil Rights Case Illustrates Necessity to Bond Anti-SLAPP Motion Awards During Appeal, September 13, 2008
- California courts rain on Sunshine Week, March 11, 2009
|California sunshine lawsuits|
|See also: Court cases with an impact on state FOIA|
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