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The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel are representing sixteen current and former members of the Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors in a lawsuit brought over their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The lawsuit, filed in September 2011 in Washington State court, was brought by five Co-op members to prevent enforcement of the Co-op’s boycott policy and to collect monetary damages against the board members, claiming that they acted beyond the scope of their authority and breached their fiduciary duties. The Board members have moved to strike the suit because it seeks to chill their public statements on an issue of public interest, and are asking the court to impose a statutory penalty on plaintiffs.
On February 27, 2012, Judge McPhee granted Defendants’ Anti-SLAPP Motion to strike the lawsuit, finding the case was a SLAPP – Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. On February 22, 2013, Plaintiffs appealed the trial court's decision to the Supreme Court of Washington State. On August 6, 2013, the Supreme Court transferred the case to the Court of Appeals, where it is pending. Oral argument took place on February 24, and on April 7, 2014, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the trial court's dismissal of the case under Washington's Anti-SLAPP statute and upheld the constitutionality of the Anti-SLAPP statute.
On September 2, 2011, five plaintiffs—members of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Washington—filed a lawsuit against sixteen current and former members of the Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors for their decision to boycott Israeli goods.
Statement of Solidarity with the Olympia Food Co-op from TrickleUp Films.
September 2, 2011: Five plaintiffs filed a case against sixteen current and former Board members of the Olympia Food Co-op in state court in Washington.
November 1, 2011: Defendants filed an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike Plaintiffs' complaint, seeking attorneys' fees, costs, and sanctions.
December 1, 2011: Plaintiffs filed a brief opposing Defendants' Anti-SLAPP motion/Motion to Dismiss as well as a Cross-Motion for Discovery.
December 15, 2011: Defendants filed their reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition, as well as four declarations in support of the Anti-SLAPP motion.
January 11, 2012: Defendants filed a brief opposing Plaintiffs’ cross-motion for discovery, as well as a supporting Declaration.
February 22, 2013: Defendants appealed directly to the Washington State Supreme Court and filed their opening brief arguing that the trial court erred in granting the anti-SLAPP motion and asking the court to reverse and remand the decision so that it could proceed on the merits.
May 24, 2013: Plaintiffs-Respondents filed their response brief, arguing that the trial court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint under the Anti-SLAPP statute and the trial court's decision should be affirmed in its entirety.
August 6, 2013: The Supreme court ordered that the case be transferred to the Washington State Court of Appeals.
February 24, 2014: The case was argued before the Washington State Court of Appeals. Click here for audio recording of the oral argument.
April 7, 2014: The Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision to dismiss the case under Washington's Anti-SLAPP statute and upheld the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP statute.
February 27, 2012: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Over Boycott of Israeli Goods