SLAPP Targeting Non-Profit Organization
Attempts to prevent scams can’t prevent these lawsuits.
NedGam Productions and Edge 1 Productions are businesses that run “The” and “ACT”, talent agencies that hold auditions at hotels nationwide in search children looking to become actors. Ironically, “The” and “ACT” are both owned by Michael Palance. BizParentz Foundation is a non-profit charity that helps children and their families to avoid scams and make their way in the child star industry.
On March 27, 2009, talent agencies “The” and “ACT” filed a defamation lawsuit, in federal court in Connecticut against BizParentz Foundation. These companies claimed that BizParentz Foundation had “various false and misleading statements” on it’s website. “The” and “ACT” also claimed that co-founder of BizParentz, Anne Henry, told reporters that they were a scam. Henry also claimed that “The” had a “less than stellar” rating with the Better Business Bureau and was being investigated by the FBI.
On April 30th, 2010, BizParentz was granted a motion to transfer from the Federal Court in Connecticut to the United States District Court, Central District of California. This gave BizParentz a significant advantage with the ability to file an anti-SLAPP motion.
After unsuccessful mediation, and being faced with the reality of an anti-SLAPP motion likely being filed, “The” and “ACT” dismissed their cases.
Without an anti-SLAPP statute BizParentz Foundation could have faced years of litigation and incurred incredible amounts of attorney fees. These types of lawsuits clog the court systems and waste not only defendant’s money, but taxpayer’s money as well.