Linda Strickland – patriot hero defending a group of private citizens in Boulder City who were needlessly personally sued by their own government for sponsoring a series of ballot initiatives last year – advises of a big win for those citizens in court today:
On February 25th, Judge Susan Scann in Dept. 29 held a hearing in which she ordered Boulder City to show cause as to why they decided to bring multiple lawsuits and sue the initiative sponsors rather than use the non-confrontational approach of NRS 43.100.
NRS 43.100 is a procedure whereby the municipality files a petition with the court seeking a judicial declaration that, in this instance, an ordinance is legally sufficient. We had raised NRS 43.100 in our anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss in both this case and in case 629988 (the debt limit initiative also passed by the voters.)
On February 25th the City took the position that it chose not to use NRS 43.100 “because it did not have to” – acknowledging that it knew about the procedure.
Today Judge Scann issued her ruling. Though she did not give the initiative sponsors anti-SLAPP relief, she did the next best thing. She ordered the city to pay $10,000 in attorneys fees and to pay court costs. She has also ordered that the city must dismiss any of the defendants who desire dismissal.
Finally someone has recognized that what is going on out here is bad.
Judge Scann also pointedly noted that Boulder City officials’ “multiple lawsuit strategy was unjustified.” She added that “Multiple lawsuits naming individuals where another method is available without naming individuals is a needless increase in the cost of litigation” and “invited the anti-slapp response.”
That last line is particularly funny to me, since some nimrod tax lawyer named Stephen Stubb with an anti-Strickland obsession kept trying to make a big deal out of the “slapp” acronym not being an official legal term.
But apparently it’s sufficiently legal for a sitting judge to use it, bozo!
I’ll also point out that Stubby kept posting on this blog little rants claiming the fat lady had sung. Alas, the reports of the defense’s demise by Mr. Stubbs were greatly exaggerated.
Anyway, the issue is far from over, as other lawsuits in other courtrooms remain unresolved. And the city could still appeal. But his was a big victory for the little guys today.
Congratulations Mrs. Strickland.