Mirna Velasquez, Candidate for Ward 6, responds to Nellie Mendoza lawsuit with an Anti-SLAPP motion for attorney fees
Mendoza alleged that Velasquez was not a resident of Santa Ana Ward 6. However, Mendoza acknowledged in her complaint that Velasquez has lived in Ward 6 since at least her registration date of November 21, 2017. Not only did she register in the district more than 30 days before filing but Velasquez moved into the Ward on November 1, 2017 per her response. So there was no merit to the 1st cause of action by Ms. Mendoza.
Mendoza then alleged that Ms. Velasquez was not an educator. Once again Mendoza didn’t even read the accompanying documents. It says that Ms. Velasquez’s business is educating doctors and dentists and their staffs. Velasquez has a master’s degree in K-12 education and is pursuing a master’s in higher education. Thus, there is no merit to Mendoza’s 2nd cause of action. It appears she didn’t even do her homework!
Since neither cause of action had any merit, Ms. Velasquez has filed an Anti-Slapp motion and request for Attorneys fees. Ms. Mendoza sought to silence Ms. Velasquez’s use of her constitutional right to run for office and she cannot prevail on the merits as evidenced by her lack of due diligence. It appears her lawsuit was nothing more than a political stunt and waste of taxpayer funds. Ms. Mendoza may end up paying for it. We shall see.
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
Anti-SLAPP laws target tactics are used by SLAPP plaintiffs. Common anti-SLAPP laws include measures such as penalties for plaintiffs who file lawsuits ruled frivolous and special procedures where a defendant may ask a judge to consider that a lawsuit is a SLAPP (and usually subsequently dismiss the suit), according to Wikipedia.