Young v. Davis
Case #: A148249
Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J., and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148249.pdf
Civil Law: Under Oregon's anti-SLAPP statutory scheme, as provided under ORS 31.150, a plaintiff need not show "likelihood of success of the merits," but instead, present "substantial evidence to support a prima facie case."
Young appealed from the trial court’s grant of Davis’s special motion to strike under ORS 31.150 (Oregon's "anti-SLAPP" (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute), dismissing her claims for defamation and wrongful use of civil proceedings. Young argued that the trial court improperly determined that Young had not met her burden of proof under the statute and its “weighing” of the evidence in concluding that Young was not likely to succeed on the merits. Young argued that ORS 31.150(3) provides that when the burden shifted to the Young after Davis made a prima facie showing, Young needed only present substantial evidence to support a prima facie case. The Court of Appeals held that, assuming each of Young's claims was subject to Oregon's anti-SLAPP statute, the trial court did apply an improper legal standard under the plain text of ORS 31.150(3) in dismissing Young’s motion. In order to fulfill Young’s burden of proof under that statute, Young was required only to present "substantial evidence to support a prima facie case"; she was not required to establish that her claims were likely to succeed on the merits. Accordingly, the trial court erred in granting Davis's special motion to strike and dismissing Young's claims. Reversed and remanded.