A developer sued a South Carolina town in 2016 over a zoning issue, and a few residents who had spoken critically about the development were subpoenaed for their comments on the matter. “The subpoenas demanded residents' communications, including Facebook and Twitter posts, to or from other residents of Simmons Pointe, the homeowners association, the town, elected officials, appointed members of the Board of Zoning Appeals and others.” Though the lawsuit settled, Mount Pleasant Town Council urged state lawmakers to pass the Citizens Participation in Government Act of 2018.Read More
Rick Blum writes:
"President Donald Trump’s legal threats against the publisher and author of the most recent insider account of the White House may strike a nerve with journalists who are fearful of expensive legal defenses and chill valuable news reporting, but the threats could lose much of their power if states or Congress strengthened a tool that judges may use to dismiss meritless lawsuits involving speech protected under the First Amendment."
Read more here.Read More
A Des Moines, Iowa attorney brought a lawsuit against The Des Moines Register and one of its reporters. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick says it “seems like a pure SLAPP lawsuit.”Read More
A developer filed a lawsuit against the environmental groups Greenpeace International, BankTrack, Earth First! and others, alleging the groups “conspired to inflict damage on the pipeline developer and advance their own agendas.” A lawyer for Greenpeace called the lawsuit a “SLAPP” and a form of bullying.Read More
The Northern California Record reports:
"A San Mateo County Superior Court ruled in favor of social media giant Facebook in an appeal brought against the company's anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) motion as well as to strike the original complaint and award the company its attorney’s fees for the appeal."Read More
A new article from Peter Hayes at Bloomberg's Toxic Laws Reporter examines the rise of SLAPPs against environmental organizations and activists.Read More
The North American Olive Oil Association filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta against Dr. Mehmet Oz, claiming that the TV personality made disparaging statements about the quality and purity of its members’ products on his talk show...Read More
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a Portland man's defamation lawsuit against a woman who accused him of sexual assault. The panel ruled that Oregon's anti-SLAPP law applied, and the man did not meet a minimum burden of proof for his allegations.Read More
PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in a USA Today article about Donald Trump and SLAPPs:
Trump isn’t alone in trying to “hijack the judicial system” to silence critics, said Evan Mascagni, policy director at the Public Participation Project, an advocacy group lobbying for a federal anti-SLAPP law.Read More
PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in a Politico article about SLAPPs and Donald Trump:
Trump’s litigiousness has extended into the presidential campaign. In November, following reports of a $2.5 million pro-Kasich super PAC investment in anti-Trump ads, Trump tweeted: “I will sue him just for fun!
In some cases, he has openly acknowledged that going to court is less about seeking justice and more about joyfully punishing enemies.Read More
PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in an article about SLAPPs and the SPEAK FREE Act by Gene Policinski:
The proposed law would allow defendants to transfer lawsuits from state to federal courts, particularly valuable in 22 states that do not have an anti-SLAPP law or in those with weak protection. Farenthold said the law also will provide a means in federal court to quickly resolve a SLAPP lawsuit “before the legal fees run up.”Read More
A Rhode Island restaurant filed a lawsuit against six people who posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page alleging the oysters served at the restaurant were stolen from a local “shellfisherman.” A lawyer for one of the defendants called the lawsuit a "SLAPP” suit intended to silence his client.Read More
Anti-SLAPP news out of California this week:
Animal Rights activist Marcy Winograd has hired Mark Goldowitz, Director of Anti-SLAPP Project, to represent her in a “Free Speech case” before California Court of Appeal.
A Los Angeles public school teacher and Santa Monica resident, Winograd will be represented by Goldowitz in Angel and Nester vs. Winograd.
In November, 2014, pony ride operators Tawni Angel and Jason Nester filed a defamation lawsuit against Winograd for her petition campaign to end what she allege is “animal cruelty at the Main Street Farmers Market in Santa Monica.” Winograd and nearly 2,000 petition signers object to what they describe as “a cramped petting zoo and pony ride in which ponies are tethered to metal bars and forced to circle barefoot in one direction on concrete for almost four hours each Sunday.”Read More