A complaint to the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards is not protected speech under the Anti-SLAPP statute (CCP 425.16(e)). The Board is a private organization which has lofty goals of enhancing professional responsibility among financial planners, but its actions are not “official proceedings” because it is not a governmental agency and it exercises no powers conferred by law. Also, the complaint was not made in a public forum just because the Board maintained a website. The complaint was not submitted via the website nor was it publicly accessible. Also, it addressed no issue of public concern. Defendant’s emails to an annuity company accusing plaintiff of having stolen annuity payments due defendant’s parents were not protected pre-litigation letters privileged under Civ. Code 47(b) or protected under CCP 425.16(e) because the emails neither mentioned the possibility of litigation against the annuity company nor made any demand against it. There was no showing that defendant seriously contemplated litigation against the annuity company when she sent the emails. The emails did nothing to further the objectives of the litigation she did file against the plaintiff.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Grimes, J.); April 20, 2018; 2018 WL 1887345