Citing free-speech grounds, a judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a coalition of Black Lives Matter chapters against the BLM Global Network Foundation that accused the foundation of defrauding the local activist groups.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick heard arguments on the case in April, took the case under submission and issued her ruling Tuesday.
The complaint was filed last Sept. 1 by Black Lives Matter Grassroots Inc. and also named as a defendant Shalomya Bowers, a consultant and foundation board member.
The plaintiffs alleged that the foundation, which has been a clearinghouse for donations to support BLM over the years, has fundraised off the work of the chapters, but mismanaged the funds and had shut local chapters out of decision making.
Addressing the unjust enrichment allegation against the foundation, the judge said she agreed with the entity's attorneys that the plaintiff's evidence "fails to establish ... that it was entitled to any of the donated funds at issue or that defendants have been enriched."
The judge also dismissed the part of the case against Bowers, finding that the plaintiff "fails to establish it has standing to bring its claims and therefore plaintiff fails to establish a probability of prevailing on its claims."
The dismissal motions were brought under the state's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law, which is intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
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