Winning the anti-SLAPP motion and $38,000 in attorney’s fees is a win for the Harbor District, democracy and our First Amendment right to free speech.
SLAPP lawsuits stifle public debate, threaten news reporting and diminish civic engagement – principles fundamental to our democracy.
SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are filed against people or organizations because they have exercised their First Amendment right to free speech or to petition the government. A SLAPP lawsuit is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or speak out on issues of public interest.
The rights to speech and petition are enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free speech and healthy debate are vital to the well-being of a democracy. In fact, the United States Supreme Court has said that the right to petition the government is the very foundation of our democracy.
Events & Documents
April 12, 2016 — General Manager Steve McGrath sent a hoist removal letter to Three Captains
Feb 25, 2016 — Three Captains dropped their lawsuit against the Harbor District. They formally dismissed their writ petition against the Harbor District. This on top of winning the anti-SLAPP motion and $38,000 in attorney’s fees is great news for the Harbor District.
Dec 17, 2015 — San Mateo County Superior Judge George A. Miram ordered Three Captains to pay the Harbor District $38,000 in legal fees for an Anti-SLAPP motion. This came after the District earlier prevailed in a motion to dismiss one of the Plaintiff’s two causes of action (the Anti-SLAPP motion).
Oct 22, 2015 — Three Captains Sea Products Opposition to Motion for Attorneys' Fees
Oct 5, 2015 — Harbor District Memo in Support of Motion for Attorneys' Fees
July 13, 2015 — Harbor District Special Motion to Strike under the Anti-SLAPP law
July 13, 2015 — Harbor District Declaration in Support of Special Motion to Strike
July 13, 2015 — Harbor District Notice of Motion to Strike
June 2, 2015 — Three Captains Sea Products Complaint (lawsuit)
May 21, 2015 — LAFCO Executive Director Martha Poyatos emails attachments to Three Captains attorney Mark Scheer.
March 13, 2015 — LAFCO Executive Director Martha Poyatos has email correspondence with to Three Captains attorney Mark Scheer. Ms. Poyatos sends attachment/s, a link to a newspaper article about the Harbor District and requests Mr. Scheer provide information about campaign contributions for Harbor Commissioners.
May 6, 2015 — Item 12, Harbor Commission Resolution 11-15—Adopting and Affirming Factual Findings made During the Harbor District March 4,2015 Public Meeting Regarding Three Captains Sea Products' Request to Maintain a Second Hoist on Johnson Pier.
Motion by David, second by Mattusch to adopt Resolution 11-15. The motion passed. Ayes: Brennan, David, Mattusch Nays: Bernardo, Parravano
March 5, 2015 — Email from LAFCO Executive Director Martha Poyatos requesting the Harbor District provide a letter from Three Captains attorney Mark Scheer.
MARCH 4, 2015 MEETING DOCUMENTS
March 3, 2015 — Young deNormandie Letter to Harbor Commission
Feb. 11, 2015 — Coastal Commission Letter to Three Captains
Jan. 8, 2015 — Young deNormandie Letter to SMCHD counsel
Dec. 12, 2014 — Coastal Commission Letter to Three Captains
Dec. 9, 2014 — HMB Seafood Marketing Association Letter to Coastal Commission
Nov. 7, 2014 — Coastal Commission Letter to Three Captains
Nov. 6, 2014 — HMB Seafood Marketing Association meets with Coastal Commission in San Francisco office. Waiver recommendation is pulled and full permit is required.
Oct. 30, 2014 — Coastal Commission Proposed Permit Waiver
Sept. 24, 2014 — SMCHD Permit Letter to Three Captains
Sept. 23, 2014 — SMCHD Counsel Letter To Pillar Point Seafood Counsel
Aug. 24, 2014 — Video: Three Captains Hoist offloading Salmon
July 9, 2014 — Grand Jury Report Released: "What is the Price of Dysfunction?"
May 21, 2014 — HMB Seafood Marketing Association Letter to Harbor Commission
April 18, 2014 — Daily Journal article: New fish hoist raises concerns at Pillar Point
2014 — SMCHD Letter to the Coastal Commission (no date on this letter)
April 15-16, 2014 — New hoist was installed on Johnson Pier
March 28, 2014 — SMCHD Probationary Agreement with Three Captains (this letter not provided to the board until Jan 2015)
March 18, 2014 — SMCHD Letter to Fish Buyers
March 5, 2014 — Meeting Video: Report on Morning Star Fisheries fallen hoist
Feb. 21, 2014 — The Morning Star Fisheries hoist falls into the harbor
Feb. 5, 2014 — Three Captains Letter to Harbor Commissioners
Jan. 15, 2014 — HMB Seafood Marketing Association delivered Letter to Harbor Commission during regular board meeting.
Jan. 15, 2014 — Peter Grenell emphatically denied decisions on a hoist were being made confidentially during a Harbor District meeting. “I take the concerns that we’ve heard quite seriously,” Grenell said. “No one’s operating in a black box or a vacuum. That’s not how we do business.”
Jan. 7, 2014 — Agenda Item 12: Informational Report - Hoists on Johnson Pier
Dec. 16, 2013 — County Supervisor and LAFCO Commissioner Don Horsley emails LAFCO Executive Director Martha Poyatos and says that the Harbor District is on his “radar for potential dissolution in the future.”
Nov. 6, 2013 — Peter Grenell's email to Commissioner Brennan: "Mr. Fortado does not have approval to install another hoist on Johnson Pier. As you will discover upon reading the pertinent lease language, the Harbor District must give prior approval; that means the Harbor Commission. Mr. Grindy and I have discussed another hoist for Mr. Fortado, and possibly for Mr. Mallory, or some shared arrangement. Alternative locations have been discussed with Mr. Fortado but nothing has been finalized. The idea of a public hoist has also arisen for consideration."
Oct. 30, 2013: Three Captains pulls County electrical permit #BLD2013-01869.
June 25, 2013 — Bettencourt Fisheries/Snyder Miller & Orton Letter publicly requesting Civil Grand Jury investigation
March 27, 2013 — Lease between SMCHD and Fish Buyers
Nov. 13, 2012 — Fourth buying/offloading lease email from Peter Grenell
Sept. 10, 2012 — Bettencourt Fisheries fourth buying/offloading location follow up letter
Aug. 22, 2012 — Bettencourt Fisheries proposal for a fourth buying/offloading location
Feb 10, 2010 — Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission Complaint and Jury Trial Demand against Three Captains' Sea Products
Pillar Point Harbor photo from 1972