SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) and anti-SLAPP motions can be very confusing. Here are 4 general guidelines that may help clear it up a little:
1. Anti-SLAPP is a Matter of State Law, Not Federal.
The following states have anti-SLAPP statutes in place allowing those sued for
exercising their constitutional rights to free speech or petition to fight back with anti-
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,
Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada,
New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee,
Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Colorado, West Virginia.
There is no federal anti-SLAPP law.
2. SLAPPs Suppress Criticism.
Unscrupulous individuals and businesses may file lawsuits with the sole purpose of
silencing unfavorable speech. It’s completely legal to make true statements or
opinions, but people are understandably scared of being sued and instead retract
their criticisms. This is detrimental to a free society and freezes the free flow of
3. Fear Not: Anti-SLAPP Motions Can Turn Things Around.
California’s anti-SLAPP laws encourage us to exercise our freedom of speech! In the
30 states listed above that have anti-SLAPP motions in place, defendants can fight
back against SLAPPs. Successful anti-SLAPP motions result in the dismissal of the
SLAPP and recovery of court costs and attorney fees.
4. Every Case is Different.
Anti-SLAPP law involves a cross-section of substantive law, constitutional law, and civil
procedure, so hiring an experienced attorney is critical. Contact The Law Office of Ryan
T. Darby at (619) 858-4766 for a consultation.
If you have questions regarding either one, please call The Law Office of Ryan at (619)