Neighbor A filed a quiet title action against Neighbor B for B’s having filed an application with the homeowner’s association seeking to have the association enforce a tree-trimming covenant against Neighbor A.  Neighbor B’s application was speech about a matter of public interest, protected by CCP 425.16(e)(4) because there was considerable controversy among homeowners about whether the tree trimming covenant applied to properties like Neighbor A’s which were outside the zone to which the covenant directly applied.  Also, it was clear that the quiet title claim arose out of Neighbor B’s application which sought to subject Neighbor A’s property to the tree-trimming covenant.  Neighbor A had no probability of success on his quiet title claim since by the time he filed it Neighbor B had withdrawn his application, so there was no cloud on A’s title.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4 (Collins, J.); February 28, 2017; 2017 WL 772457