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Litigation Targets Slap Back at SLAPP Suits

As the former president of a mobile home park homeowners association, and the victim of a SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) suit, I applaud your editorial position regarding SB 1264. (“Putting an End to Intimidation,” Aug. 25). The owners of my park have a history of intimidating the homeowners association by using SLAPP suits. I am the second of three association presidents to be sued since 1989.

We are all middle-class Americans, living on fixed or average incomes, paying our taxes, voting regularly and serving our small community by chairing monthly meetings of our organization. We sometimes take a position in contrast to the owners’ policies or procedures.

We were convinced that our rights to free speech and assembly were absolutely guaranteed by the Constitution. Imagine our horror when a lawsuit was delivered to our doorsteps, with a multitude of zeros, accusing us of interfering with the owners’ ability to conduct his business!

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The California Civil Code, Mobile Home Residency Law (1992) provides us with additional protection to freely communicate. Now, Gov. Wilson must give us the right to be free from the financial and emotional toll of frivolous lawsuits.

America was built on the premise that uninhibited dialogue, with a variety of ideas, was conducive to a strong, dynamic system of government. It works, as long as powerful, monied, special interest groups or companies cannot silence individual thought with expensive, senseless lawsuits.

LYNN HARKINS, Anaheim


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