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Victory! California A.G. Dismisses Countersuit Against Cedar's Family

We just had a major victory and are one step closer to justice for Cedar!

ICYMI, the California Attorney General filed a countersuit against Cedar's family, seeking recovery of the government's own costs and fees in this civil rights litigation because of some boilerplate language (an indemnification clause) in the kids club entry form.

With your help, we filed a motion to strike the California Attorney General's countersuit against Cedar's family. And this just in--the Attorney General dismissed the countersuit! 

What exactly happened? Here's some background: In California, it's illegal to sue someone for exercising their right to sue the government. It's called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or SLAPP suit). And that's exactly what happened here.

After Mrs. Long and her minor daughter E.L. filed the underlying civil rights litigation over

Cedar, their 4-H goat they tried to save from slaughter, public outrage and debate erupted across the nation about police and government misconduct, children’s rights, animal rights, and taxpayer waste. Nearly every major U.S. news outlet covered this case. The top three most popular Tweets about Cedar’s case alone obtained over 16 million views. This national reaction only compounded pre-litigation blowback directed at the Shasta District Fair already viral on Instagram and Facebook.

In response, Shasta District Fair Livestock Manager and counterclaimant Mr. Macfarlane and CEO and counterclaimant Ms. Silva tried to have the California Department of Food and Agriculture “get this taken care of quickly in the media.” They could not.

Having failed to contain public debate, the California Attorney General, who represents Mr. Macfarlane and Ms. Silva, tendered an indemnification demand to Mrs. Long--demanding she pay all monetary loss, including the California Attorney General’s attorneys’ fees, for the damages they caused to her daughter.

This left Mrs. Long with two options: abandon civil rights litigation of national public interest, or face a hefty price tag. Mrs. Long bravely chose the latter, denying the indemnification demand as a legally baseless, transparent attempt to chill the protected First Amendment rights of a child and mother. Her denial and the subsequent counterclaim have furthered public discussion over government misconduct, calling into question the Attorney General’s use taxpayer funds to sue a family over an illegally-slaughtered pet.

That's why we filed a special motion to strike the counterclaim under California's anti-SLAPP law. And, great news! After we got our motion on file, the California Attorney General dismissed the countersuit against Cedar's family.

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