Henne v. City of Yakima, ?182 Wn.2d 447, 341 P.3d 284 (2015)

The Plaintiff was a police officer who alleged that the City of Yakima used the internal investigation process as a vehicle to retaliate against him.? He alleged negligent supervision and retention.? The City responded to the Complaint with a motion brought under the Anti-SLAPP statute, RCW 4.24.525, and claimed that it was engaged in “public participation,” and that the claim should be dismissed in the absence of “clear and convincing” evidence that Plaintiff would prevail on the merits.? The trial court allowed an amendment to the pleadings, over the City’s objection, and ruled that in light of the amendment there was no “public participation” within the meaning of the statute.? The City appealed and Henne cross appealed claiming that the City was not a “person” with the meaning of the statute.The Court ruled that the City did not engage in any communicative activity and therefore the City of Yakima could not be a ?moving party? within the meaning of the Anti-SLAPP statute, RCW 4.24.525.? The Court did not reach the issue of whether the City was a ?person? within the meaning of the statute.? WELA filed an Amicus Curiae Brief together with the ACLU-W.?? Jeffrey Needle and Jesse Wing wrote the amicus brief on behalf of WELA.

Court’s Opinion, Henne v. City of Yakima