Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on July 18, 2013, to limit “strategic lawsuits against public participation” (SLAPP suits), which are filed against a person who communicates with a governmental unit, public official, or other person to seek relief, influence action, inform, communicate, and otherwise participate in the process of government. The bill would require a court to dismiss such a suit unless there was prima facie evidence that it was not initiated to deny constitutionally protected free speech, and the defendant was prohibited by law from disseminating the information, or the information was false or made with reckless regard for the truth. A defendant could collect damages of up to $5,000 if the plaintiff failed to meet these standards and the case was dismissed. Full Text and Analysis.
Referred to the House Judiciary Committee on July 18, 2013.