Elk Grove Activist Files Counter ‘Anti-SLAPP’ Suit Against Vice Mayor’s Son

September 20, 2013 | In a motion filed last week, an Elk Grove community activist alleges that she is being subjected to a so-called ...

September 20, 2013 |

In a motion filed last week, an Elk Grove community activist alleges that she is being subjected to a so-called SLAPP lawsuit.

The suit was filed by Connie Conley and acts as a counter on Brian Detrick, son of Vice Mayor Steve Detrick, who filed a defamation lawsuit against Conley earlier this summer.

In his lawsuit, Detrick alleges Conley defamed him through emails she sent questioning Detrick’s role regarding a fundraiser held earlier this year and whether or not the event was in legal compliance. Detrick’s complaint claims he is a private figure and those emails injured his reputation and have had a negative economic effect on his business, Brick Events.

Conley alleges that Detrick is a public figure and that his lawsuit is a SLAPP lawsuit, or a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

In her anti-SLAPP suit Conley claims that Detrick’s suit is an attempt to stop her “from questioning whether organizations that solicit public fund are following the law.”

Anti-SLAPP laws were first enacted in California in 1992 and have been expanded on a number of occasions subsequent to that in response to the practice of well-funded litigants filing lawsuits against parties, oftentimes individuals, with opposing viewpoints.

Conley’s lawsuit is being handled by Sacramento Attorney Jeffrey Kravitz while Detrick is represented by the firm of Boutin Jones.  

The documents for both parties can be viewed here and by entering 00146665 in the blank case number field. The entire case number is 34-2013-00146665. 

A tentative ruling on the merits of Conley’s suit will be issued on Thursday, October 11.  

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Anonymous said...

'Like sands through the hourglass so are the Days of our Lives.'

Anonymous said...

Connie has been yapping her jaws for years. She needs to give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Connie's singular focus appears to be on discrediting any official who disagrees with her. Frankly, she is the bully and the Oct 11 decision will make that apparent.
You're overstepping, Connie. No one is trying to silence you. Get back to doing "good things" and stop with the conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:29 You said it very well.

Silent Dogood said...

Let's see back when the talk was that Pat Hume was going to run for Mayor against Gary Davis, the community activist went after Hume and filed lawsuits and grand jury indictments.

Now the talk is that Steve Detrick may run against Davis!!

If Gary Davis is not behind his attack dog then he must come out and condemn this attack against another Council Members son, or by his silence is Davis saying his family is now fair game?

Anonymous said...

Interesting take on the story at 13:18. I do not believe Davis is backing this behavior of Ms. Conley. She is, by and away, the pit bull when it comes to political correctness. Whether any of these council members behaved in a way that is contrary to state regulation/law, Ms. Conley would like to be the one to smear it in their face. I believe she gets great pleasure as "the spoiler". Without regard to whether the "wrongdoing" was an oversight or an overt act to pull a fast one over the citizens, Ms. Conley loves to be the one to say "I told you so"...she lives for that moment. Now, I agree that if there is something amiss at city hall, it needs to be corrected. But multiple lawsuits back and forth gets no one anywhere at all. This must be getting expensive for all sides. Can't we all act like adults here? Can't we leave old feelings on the sidelines? Can't we leave this up to the FPPC? Time to move on folks, nothing here to see! Davis is careful not to cross Ms. Conley’s path fearing he will be next on her hit list. He is smart to avoid her at every turn. Detrick did not learn this lesion early enough and is paying the price now.

Anonymous said...

Why isn’t Brian Detrick suing Gary Davis for breach of contract. After all, according to Steve Detrick, Davis hired his son as the event director for Running of the Elk a few years back and then reneged. Little Detrick was so upset that he apparently sent Davis scathing emails while he was skiing in Chile saying he and his family had followers and he was going to let everyone in the community know about the real Gary Davis as he was running for mayor.

Senior Detrick was even bragging he was so proud of his son for putting Davis in his place.

It appears that little Detrick thinks everyone is hiring him.

Anonymous said...

Fact check: Conley did not file the original lawsuits and she has the right to defend herself.

As far as the press is concerned, it was Detrick and Hume who did the talking to the reporters.

In fact, Steve Detrick sent one complaint to the Elk Grove Citizen and reporter Bryan Gold had the intregity to put that fact in the article so the readers would know that Detrick feeds info to the press.

Anthony Romero said...

If you take a look at the documents from both sides at the link, the question boils down to this - is the younger Detrick a public figure? If he and by extension his father filed this to stop an inquiry of public documents or opinion, the lawsuit can be considered a SLAPP lawsuit and it will be thrown out. The person who was SLAPPed, could be entitled to damages. Take away the drama and the personalities, and this is the question that should be answered in the preliminary ruling.

Anonymous said...

Well the younger Detrick follows his Dad everywhere to public events even riding in parades with him. Photos don't lie!

A argument can made that he is inserting himself into the public arena and is trying to benefit from his father's elected office.

In fact, one company owner reported out at a council meeting the younger Detrick approrached him and said, "I am Brian Detrick, son of Council member Steve Detrick and I want to talk to you about giving me a job!"

Anonymous said...

correct assumption at 16:02....strip away all the drama and it comes down to Little Detrick and whether he is considered a public figure. the fact he rides in parades means nothing...John and Carolyn Kennedy rodes in hundred of parades and are in thousands of photos with their dad..does that make them "public figures?"
I also agree that ms conley did not file the first lawsuit, but it seems she "caused" it to be filed with her odd behavior. If in fact little detrick is NOT a public figure, why should he endure the rath of conley?
I guess we wait for the next court date to find out

Monday Morning Attorney said...

The issue is not whether Brian Detrick is a public figure, but rather if the issue is of public concern. The emails were addressed to Mike Jones of Courageous Connection regarding whether or not his charity was legally registered with the State of California. It was not.

The law is clear: (e) As used in this section, “act in furtherance of a person’s right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue” includes: (1) any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law, (2) any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law, (3) any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest, or (4) any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.

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