Home > Uncategorized > Graffiti Protective Coatings v. City of Pico Rivera Case should be Noted by California Contractors.

Graffiti Protective Coatings v. City of Pico Rivera Case should be Noted by California Contractors.

The California Court of Appeals Second District, just issued its ruling recently in Graffiti Protective Coatings, Inc. v. City of Pico Rivera, Case No.  B213322, which may be of some interest to contractors involved in public works projects.  In this case, plaintiff Graffiti as a contractor, petitioned for a writ of mandate seeking to invalidate a new contract between the defendant-city and its competitor, and to compel the city to award a contract through competitive bidding as required by law.  The appeals court reviewed the trial court’s grant of defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, and reversed and remanded.  Held that even if plaintiff’s claims involve a public issue, they are not based on any statement, writing, or conduct by the city in furtherance of its right of free speech . Rather, plaintiff’s claims are based on state and municipal laws requiring the city to award certain contracts through competitive bidding, and thus, the claims are not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute.

SLAPP suits are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.  SLAPPs are typically lawsuits filed against people or organizations because they have exercised their right to petition the government or speak out on public issues. SLAPPs can frequently contain claims for libel, slander, defamation, malicious prosecution, and/or abuse of process.  In this case, plaintiff Graffiti as contractor, brought suit to basically require a public entity city to comply with mandatory competitive bidding statutes.  In defense, the city tried to dismiss the case claiming the plaintiff was really bringing a SLAPP suit, and prevailed at the trial level under an anti-SLAPP ordinance.  The appellate court correctly concluded, that just as suits brought by a governmental agency to enforce laws aimed at public protection are not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute, then a private party’s suit to enforce the competitive bidding laws is also outside the coverage of an anti-SLAPP statute.

Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or creating any attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney for specific legal advice. Thank you.

All Rights Reserved © 2010 by Michael L. Mau, Esq.

The Mau Law Firm

Blog: http://maulaw.spaces.live.com

Website: www.MauLaw.com

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Categories: Uncategorized
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