Is An Anti-SLAPP Motion Like A Demurrer?

Once a defendant makes its threshold showing that a complaint arises under protected activity, the plaintiff must demonstrate a probability of prevailing on the merits. This means a plaintiff must state and substantiate a legally sufficient claim. Premier Med. Mgmt. Systems, Inc. v. California Ins. Guar. Ass’n (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 464. Stated another way, plaintiff "’must demonstrate the complaint is both legally sufficient and supported by a sufficient prima facie showing of facts to sustain a favorable judgment if the evidence submitted by the plaintiff is credited.’" Gilbert v. Sykes (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 13, 26, citing, Wilson v. Parker, Covert & Chidester (2002) 28 Cal.4th 811, 821.

"If the pleadings are not adequate to support a cause of action, the plaintiff has failed to carry his burden in resisting the motion. (See Vogel v. Felice (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1006, 1018-1019, 26 Cal.Rptr.3d 350 (Vogel ); FN7 Drum v. Bleau, Fox & Associates (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 1009, 1018-1019, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 602 [“[S]pecial motions to strike pursuant to section 425.16 ‘operate “like a demurrer or motion for summary judgment in ‘reverse.’ ” ‘ (Briggs, supra, 19 Cal.4th at p. 1123, 81 Cal.Rptr.2d 471, 969 P.2d 564, citing College Hospital Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704, 718-719, 34 Cal.Rptr.2d 898, 882 P.2d 894." (Emphasis added).

Just like a demurrer, if a plaintiff fails to state a cause of action it will be stricken. Therefore, it is critically important for a plaintiff to carefully draft its complaint.  Plaintiff must plead sufficient facts in its complaint in order to state each cause of action. It may not be enough for plaintiff to state certain facts for the first time in its opposition to an anti-SLAPP motion.

Plaintiff beware.

If you want to learn how to get the most out of the California Defamation Law Blog click here.




  1. Curious says

    I am new to this area of law. Just out of curiosity, do you file a Demurrer and an Anti-Slapp at the same time? Is a party subject to a default if he has filed an Anti-Slapp motion but has not filed an Answer or a Demurrer to the Complaint? If the Judge rules against the Defendant on the Anti-Slapp, will the Defendant then have an opportunity to file a Demurrer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *