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Maryland Anti-SLAPP Acts & Laws

Last updated 2017-06-20

MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-807. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP)

 

SLAPP suit defined

 

(a) In this section, “SLAPP suit” means a strategic lawsuit against public participation.

 

SLAPP suits, generally

 

(b) A lawsuit is a SLAPP suit if it is:

 

(1) Brought in bad faith against a party who has communicated with a federal, State, or local government body or the public at large to report on, comment on, rule on, challenge, oppose, or in any other way exercise rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article 10, Article 13, or Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights regarding any matter within the authority of a government body or any issue of public concern;

 

(2) Materially related to the defendant’s communication; and

 

(3) Intended to inhibit or inhibits the exercise of rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article 10, Article 13, or Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.

 

Communications with federal, State, or local government bodies or the public

 

(c) A defendant in a SLAPP suit is not civilly liable for communicating with a federal, State, or local government body or the public at large, if the defendant, without constitutional malice, reports on, comments on, rules on, challenges, opposes, or in any other way exercises rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article 10, Article 13, or Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights regarding any matter within the authority of a government body or any issue of public concern.

 

Motions to dismiss or stay proceedings

 

(d) A defendant in an alleged SLAPP suit may move to:

 

(1) Dismiss the alleged SLAPP suit, in which case the court shall hold a hearing on the motion to dismiss as soon as practicable; or

 

(2) Stay all court proceedings until the matter about which the defendant communicated to the government body or the public at large is resolved.

 

Construction and application of section

 

(e) This section:

 

(1) Is applicable to SLAPP suits notwithstanding any other law or rule; and

 

(2) Does not diminish any equitable or legal right or remedy otherwise available to a defendant in a SLAPP suit.

 

Articles Content

STATES/TERRITORIES WITH ANTI-SLAPP LAWS: Arizona · Arkansas · California · Delaware · Florida · Georgia · Hawaii · Illinois · Indiana · Louisiana · Maine · Maryland · Massachusetts · Minnesota · Missouri · Nebraska · Nevada · New Mexico · New York · Oregon · Pennsylvania · Rhode Island · Tennessee · Texas · Utah · Vermont · Washington · District of Columbia

 

STATES/TERRITORIES NOT HAVING ANTI-SLAPP LAWS: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

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