In this case, the trial court granted defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion on the ground that plaintiff’s suit for the defendant landlord’s wrongful filing of an unlawful detainer action without good factual and legal support was premature because the landlord’s appeal from the judgment against it was still pending. Before judgment was entered in this suit, the unlawful detainer appeal in the unlawful detainer action was resolved by an affirmance and issuance of a mandate. Plaintiff then moved for a new trial on the Anti-SLAPP motion, claiming the opinion and remittitur in the unlawful detainer appeal were newly discovered evidence justifying a new trial. Held, “newly discovered evidence” to support a new trial motion must be evidence of facts that existed before the initial trial, not evidence of subsequent developments, such as the post-Anti-SLAPP motion resolution of the unlawful detainer appeal in this case. Following Pasternack v. McCullough (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 1347, this decision holds that the trial court properly granted defendant landlord’s Anti-SLAPP motion to strike plaintiff’s claim that the landlord violated Santa Monica’s anti-harassment ordinance by filing an unlawful detainer complaint against the plaintiff which lacked sufficient factual and legal support. Plaintiff’s suit was premature when filed because the landlord’s appeal from the unlawful detainer judgment was still pending. Though that appeal was later resolved against the landlord, the later resolution did not retroactively cure the prematurity of the filing of this suit. So the order granting the Anti-SLAPP motion was affirmed.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2 (Chavez, J.); March 28, 2018; 2018 WL 1516826