Swanson v. County of Riverside

Brandon M. was taken to Riverside County Medical Center by the Corona Police Department for an involuntary hold, pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150. He was released before 72 hours had elapsed, and he returned home, where he bludgeoned three people to death with a baseball bat. Surviving family members, who were successors in interest or heirs, (collectively Respondents) filed lawsuits against the County of Riverside (County) for his release, alleging negligence. The County filed a special motion to dismiss under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, the anti-SLAPP statute. The County contended the complaints should have been struck because they alleged harm arising from protected activity and because Respondents could not show a reasonable probability their suit would be successful on the merits. Respondents countered that the County's actions did not arise from any petition or speech-related activity and so were not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the County's motion, and the County appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling that the anti-SLAPP statute did not apply in this instance. View "Swanson v. County of Riverside" on Justia Law