The California Anti-SLAPP Statute

This following is the text of the so-called anti-SLAPP statute:

425.16. (a) The Legislature finds and declares that there has been
a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the
valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and
petition for the redress of grievances. The Legislature finds and
declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued
participation in matters of public significance, and that this
participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial
process. To this end, this section shall be construed broadly.
(b) (1) A cause of action against a person arising from any act of
that person in furtherance of the person’s right of petition or free
speech under the United States or California Constitution in
connection with a public issue shall be subject to a special motion
to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff has
established that there is a probability that the plaintiff will
prevail on the claim.
(2) In making its determination, the court shall consider the
pleadings, and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts
upon which the liability or defense is based.
(3) If the court determines that the plaintiff has established a
probability that he or she will prevail on the claim, neither that
determination nor the fact of that determination shall be admissible
in evidence at any later stage of the case, or in any subsequent
action, and no burden of proof or degree of proof otherwise
applicable shall be affected by that determination in any later stage
of the case or in any subsequent proceeding.
(c) In any action subject to subdivision (b), a prevailing
defendant on a special motion to strike shall be entitled to recover
his or her attorney’s fees and costs. If the court finds that a
special motion to strike is frivolous or is solely intended to cause
unnecessary delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable
attorney’s fees to a plaintiff prevailing on the motion, pursuant to
Section 128.5.
(d) This section shall not apply to any enforcement action brought
in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney
General, district attorney, or city attorney, acting as a public
prosecutor.
(e) As used in this section, "act in furtherance of a person’s
right of petition or free speech under the United States or
California Constitution in connection with a public issue" includes:
(1) any written or oral statement or writing made before a
legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official
proceeding authorized by law; (2) any written or oral statement or
writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or
review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other
official proceeding authorized by law; (3) any written or oral
statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public
forum in connection with an issue of public interest; (4) or any
other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional
right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in
connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.
(f) The special motion may be filed within 60 days of the service
of the complaint or, in the court’s discretion, at any later time
upon terms it deems proper. The motion shall be scheduled by the
clerk of the court for a hearing not more than 30 days after the
service of the motion unless the docket conditions of the court
require a later hearing.
(g) All discovery proceedings in the action shall be stayed upon
the filing of a notice of motion made pursuant to this section. The
stay of discovery shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the
order ruling on the motion. The court, on noticed motion and for
good cause shown, may order that specified discovery be conducted
notwithstanding this subdivision.
(h) For purposes of this section, "complaint" includes
"cross-complaint" and "petition," "plaintiff" includes
"cross-complainant" and "petitioner," and "defendant" includes
"cross-defendant" and "respondent."
(i) An order granting or denying a special motion to strike shall
be appealable under Section 904.1.
(j) (1) Any party who files a special motion to strike pursuant to
this section, and any party who files an opposition to a special
motion to strike, shall, promptly upon so filing, transmit to the
Judicial Council, by e-mail or facsimile, a copy of the endorsed,
filed caption page of the motion or opposition, a copy of any related
notice of appeal or petition for a writ, and a conformed copy of any
order issued pursuant to this section, including any order granting
or denying a special motion to strike, discovery, or fees.
(2) The Judicial Council shall maintain a public record of
information transmitted pursuant to this subdivision for at least
three years, and may store the information on microfilm or other
appropriate electronic media.

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