El Paso federal court dismisses SLAPP suit against neighborhood association

A federal judge in El Paso granted several motions to dismiss in a "SLAPP" suit in federal court this week.

The lawsuit, filed by night club owner David Cooper against the Cielo Vista neighborhood association, the City of El Paso and several individual defendants (a total of 12 defendants) alleged defamation and tortuous interference. The neighborhood association and several neighbors had spoken out against Cooper's plans to bring a nightclub into the area and the City of El Paso supported the neighbors. The association also protested a liquor license application. KFOX Channel 14 posted a story about the lawsuit on its website.

Defendants filed several motions to dismiss on various grounds, including based on the Texas Citizens Participation Act, Texas' new anti-SLAPP law. As one of the motions stated, "CVNA is being sued for encouraging its City Representatives to act!"

Click here for the complete story at Slapp'ed in Texas

BD Note - An Unopposed No-Evidence Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the court to dismiss Lost Society's and Fernando Rosales' suit against Barking Dog, will be held on April 27th. This lawsuit was filed before the Citizens Participation Act was filed; BD claimed protection under the Texas Shield Law, which protects a reporter's sources of information from disclosure.

Rosales is currently getting ready to spend Easter in the Rockwall County Jail after being arrested for possession of more than 3 kilos of methamphetamine last October. BD has no idea if he will play the role of Easter Bunny or Easter Chick for his cellmate.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues