Collins, however, said that the children’s’ filing of termination notices “could not be claims ‘against’ Charles’s estate because his estate went through probate and was closed in 2006,” before the termination notices were sent out.
She also supported the children’s’ motion to strike the foundation’s state-law claims on the grounds that the filing of the termination notices fell under California’s anti-SLAPP law. This law is designed to discourage the filing of lawsuits as a way to chill expression through costly litigation. She noted that the heirs were merely trying to establish a property right under federal statute. Collins ruled that the foundation had to pay attorneys’ fees.
Seven of Charles’ 12 children were defendants in the case.