Defending Animal Activists’ First Amendment Rights
Manning Beef v Los Angeles Cow Save
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a motion to dismiss Manning Beef’s meritless lawsuit against Los Angeles Cow Save for exercising their first amendment right to protest.
Manning Beef was ordered to pay $94,500 in attorneys’ fees
In April 2017, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a motion to dismiss Manning Beef’s lawsuit against Los Angeles Cow Save, a group that organizes vigils for slaughtered animals on the public road in front of Manning Beef’s slaughterhouse. The Animal Legal Defense Fund brought the motion with the assistance of the Law Offices of Matthew Strugar and attorney Ryan Gordon.
The motion was filed under the California “anti-SLAPP” (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute, the purposes of which is to empower activists to dismiss lawsuits that punish them for speaking out on issues of public concern.
The anti-SLAPP motion argued that Manning Beef’s lawsuit was meritless because Los Angeles Cow Save’s vigils constitute a protected form of free speech and were not conducted on private property, despite Manning Beef’s claims otherwise. The City of Pico Rivera treats Manning Road, the road in front of the slaughterhouse, as a public road. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department refused to disperse Los Angeles Cow Save protestors during their vigils, despite Manning Beef’s requests.
In May 2017, the the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed Manning Beef’s baseless lawsuit. Superior Court of California Judge Barbara A. Meiers then ordered slaughterhouse Manning Beef to pay $94,500 in attorneys’ fees, in August 2017.
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