D.C. v. R.R.

182 Cal. App. 4th 1190 (2010)

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D.C. v. R.R.

California Court of Appeal
182 Cal. App. 4th 1190 (2010)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

A 15-year-old student, D.C. (plaintiff), maintained a website related to his pursuit of a career in entertainment. Comments could be anonymously posted on the website, and several other students posted bullying messages. One student, R.R. (defendant), posted a message that stated in relevant part: “I want to rip out your fucking heart and feed it to you . . . [I’ve] wanted to kill you. If I ever see you I’m . . . going to pound your head in with an ice pick. Fuck you, you dick-riding penis lover. I hope you burn in hell.” D.C. did not immediately know about the posts. Other students saw the post, discussed it, and asked D.C. about his sexual orientation. D.C.’s father, upon seeing R.R.’s posted message, quickly closed down the website and contacted the police. The police thought it was safest for D.C. to remain at home until officers could complete their investigation. The investigation dragged on, and ultimately D.C. withdrew from his high school and moved far away to attend a different school. Subsequently, D.C. learned the names of the responsible students, including R.R. D.C. sued R.R. for violating hate-crime laws, among other claims. R.R. filed a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the motion, and R.R. appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mallano, J.)

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