Nevada has a strong anti-SLAPP law. Under the Nevada law, “[a] person who engages in a good faith communication in furtherance of the right to petition or the right to free speech in direct connection with an issue of public concern is immune from civil liability for claims based on the communication.” Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 41.650 (2019). Such “good faith” communications must be true or made without knowledge of their falsity. § 41.637. They include four categories of communications: those “aimed at procuring governmental or electoral action”; those informing or complaining to a federal, state, or local legislator or employee about “a matter reasonably of concern to the respective governmental entity”; statements made in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a governmental body; and communication made in direct connection with an issue of public interest in a forum open to the public. § 41.637.
To dismiss a SLAPP under Nevada law, defendants must file a motion to dismiss that shows by a preponderance of evidence that the claim is based on a good faith exercise of the right of petition or free speech in “direct connection with an issue of public concern.” § 41.660(1)(a). To survive an anti-SLAPP motion, the plaintiff must then show a probability of prevailing on the claim. § 41.665(2). Courts will consider evidence in connection with anti-SLAPP motions, such as witness testimony or affidavits. § 41.665(3)(d).
The court is required to rule on anti-SLAPP motions within 20 “judicial days” – meaning days when the court is open – after they are served on the plaintiff. § 41.660(3)(f).
Courts may permit limited discovery to allow a party to obtain information “necessary” to meet its burden or oppose the other party’s burden. § 41.660(3). Nevertheless, Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law is one of only a handful that explicitly places an absolute hold on discovery activities from the time the motion is filed until not only the trial court has ruled on it, but until all appeals regarding it are exhausted. § 41.660(3)(e). That is, Nevada courts are not statutorily authorized to permit discovery, even if the requesting party can show good cause for it.
Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law includes a provision allowing the state attorney general or other governmental legal officer to defend or otherwise support the defendant. § 41.660(1)(b).
If the court denies the anti-SLAPP motion, the defendant may immediately appeal that decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. § 41.670(4).
The court will award attorney’s fees and costs and may award up to $10,000 in additional damages to a SLAPP defendant who prevails on a motion to dismiss. § 41.670(1)(a)–(b). In addition, the Nevada anti-SLAPP law enables a successful defendant to file a “SLAPPback” lawsuit against the plaintiff to recover actual and punitive damages and the attorney’s fees and costs of bringing the separate action. § 41.670(1)(c).