Libel

This section covers the state law governing libel suits. The standards governing such suits are influenced by many things, including whether the subject of a story is a public figure or public official. This also covers the defenses to libel suits, including the "fair report" privilege, the opinion defense and anti-SLAPP laws.

Louisiana

To challenge a lawsuit as a SLAPP suit in Louisiana, a defendant must show that the cause of action arose from “any act of that person in furtherance of the person’s right of petition or free speech under the United States or Louisiana Constitution in connection with a public issue.” La. Code Civ. Proc. Ann. art. 971 (2010).

Ohio

There is no statute or cases in Ohio addressing SLAPP suits.

Florida

Florida is the only jurisdiction with two separate anti-SLAPP statutes, and the scope of protection under each is relatively narrow. Fla. Stat. 768.295 (2011) prohibits any governmental entity from suing “a person or entity without merit and solely because such person or entity has exercised the right to peacefully assemble, the right to instruct representatives, and the right to petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state, as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and [the Florida Constitution].” Fla.

Arizona

Arizona’s anti-SLAPP law protects against SLAPP suits brought in retaliation for the exercise of one’s right to petition the government. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 12-751 (2011). Protected petition activities are statements made as part of an initiative, referendum or recall effort, or those submitted to a governmental body concerning an issue under review by that body to influence governmental action or results.

Maine

Maine’s anti-SLAPP law protects against claims based on a person’s exercise of his right of petition under the federal or state constitutions. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, 556 (2011).

Oklahoma

Although Oklahoma does not have a specific anti-SLAPP statute marked by the characteristics of the laws, it does immunize from liability for libel certain statements made in the exercise of one’s rights of petition or free speech. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, 1443.1 (2011).