Washington

Grade: D

Most of Washington's previously rated Excellent anti-SLAPP law was ruled unconstitutional by the Washington Supreme Court in 2015.  There is only an extraordinarily narrow statute that survived the ruling. 

Statute or Case Law? Any Forum? Any Public Issue? Mandatory Attorney Fees/Costs? Additional Burden? Amendment After Grant? Amendment While Pending? Immediate Appeal?
RCW 4.24.5109 Y ? ? ?

9Washington Supreme Court struck down a stronger anti-SLAPP statute, RCW 4.24.525, in 2015 as invalid on its face for violating the state constitutional’s right to a jury trial. The previous law remains intact.


Washington’s anti-SLAPP law (below) was ruled unconstitutional by the Washington Supreme Court in 2015.  Read more here

WASH. REV. CODE §§ RCW 4.24.500-525 (2010)

Under Washington State’s anti-SLAPP law, revised in 2010, direct petitioning activity as well as “any lawful conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of free speech” that are related to issues of public concern are protected.  The law provides for early special motions to strike which require SLAPP plaintiffs to demonstrate, at the outset of litigation, that they can establish the required elements of their case with convincing clarity.  If the plaintiff is unable to do so, the case is dismissed.  All discovery and any pending hearings or motions are suspended until the court rules on the motion.  A defendant who prevails on a special motion to strike is entitled to a fine of $10,000, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and the costs of litigation.  A frivolous motion to strike is subject to similar sanctions.  Under the law, either party has the right to seek an expedited appeal to a higher court if a court fails to promptly rule on a motion to dismiss.


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