Du Charme v. IBEW, Local 45, 110 Cal. App. 4th 107 (2003)

Frank Du Charme sued the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 45 and Cecil Wynn, the individual who was assigned to operate Local 45 after it was placed in trusteeship in conjunction with an investigation into its financial operations. Among other things, Du Charme alleged defamation in connection with Wynn’s posting an allegedly false statement on the Local’s website that Du Charme had been “removed from office for financial mismanagement.” In response, defendants filed a special motion to strike the defamation claim under the “anti-SLAPP” statute, California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16, which the trial court denied. Defendants appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of the motion on the ground that the website posting was not made in connection with an issue under consideration and review by an official proceeding authorized by law nor was it an issue of public interest within the meaning of the statute. See also Rivero v. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, 105 Cal. App. 4th 913 (2003).