Motion Alleges Council Woman Violated Citizen’s Right to Free Speech
SAN DIEGO, CA (October 15, 2020) — Local San Diego firm, Arete Law A.P.C., has filed an anti-SLAPP motion against City of Carlsbad Council Woman Cori Schumacher for violating a citizen’s right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution as well as the liberty to speech under the California Constitution.
An anti-SLAPP motion is filed in court when a party is brought into court as a strategic way to silence or curb their free speech. The California legislature passed the anti-SLAPP provision in 1971 to slow the “disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.”
In September, Council Woman Schumacher filed a civil harassment restraining order against former Carlsbad citizen Noel Breen. Mr. Breen operates a political blog where he discusses Carlsbad politics as well as a Facebook page entitled “Carlsbad Uncensored” which also discusses local political issues. Council Woman Schumacher filed the restraining order against Mr. Breen because there was “increased activity” on his online platforms.
This is not the first time Mr. Breen has been the subject of such restraining order attempts linked to Council Woman Schumacher. In 2018, associates of Council Woman Schumacher filed three identical restraining order requests on the same day against Mr. Breen. The three individuals were Amanda Mascia, who was Schumacher’s campaign manager in 2016, Lisa McKethan, who was Schumacher’s campaign field organizer, and Sue Alderson who is a friend of Mascia and supporter of Schumacher. All three petitions were immediately denied for failing to prove a need for such orders. The associates never served Mr. Breen and failed to show up for the final hearing.
“Council Woman Schumacher clearly does not like being in the public eye when her constituents begin to criticize her actions. These actions are a blatant violation of Mr. Breen’s right to free speech. Criticism of our elected officials is one of the bed rocks of our country and attempting to suppress such activity is wholly inconsistent with the rights guaranteed under both the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution.”
The hearing is set for December 15th, 2020 at 8:30am in the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court.
Arete Law A.P.C. is a San Diego based firm specializing in various areas including civil rights, constitutional law, estate planning, and business advising.
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