Chart: Anti-SLAPP laws and journalists

Anti-SLAPP laws and journalists The Reporters Committee rated on a scale of 1 to 4 stars each jurisdiction with a statute or cases addressing meritless lawsuits brought to silence speech about a public issue. The evaluation is based on the scope of protection for speech by journalists — defined broadly as those who gather and disseminate information to the public — and was calculated as follows:

• The addition of one star for the existence of an anti-SLAPP statute or case law addressing the causes of actions;

• The addition of one star for protection for speech made in any forum in connection with an issue of public concern or interest, not just speech made before a governmental body;

• The addition of one star for protection for speech made in connection with any issue of public concern or interest, not just speech made in connection with an issue under consideration by a governmental body or speech designed to procure favorable government action (those statutes that broadly define issues of public concern or interest to include topics ranging from the government to economic well-being are awarded a star under this criterion);

• The addition of one star for the mandatory, not just the permissive, award of costs and attorney fees to a prevailing SLAPP defendant; and

• The subtraction of one star for the inclusion of additional burdens, such as a requirement that the SLAPP suit be brought in “bad faith” or that the statements be made without knowledge of or reckless disregard for their falsity.

Rating

State

Statute/ case law?

Any forum?

Any public issue?

Mandatory attorney fees/costs?

Additional burden?

★★★

Arizona

★★

Arkansas

-✔

★★★★

California

★★

Colorado

★★

Connecticut

★★

Delaware

★★★

District of Columbia

★★

Florida

★★★

Georgia

★★

Hawaii

★★★★

Illinois*

★★★

Indiana

-✔

★★★★

Louisiana

★★★

Maine

★★

Maryland

-✔

★★★

Massachusetts

★★★

Minnesota

★★

Missouri

★★

Nebraska

★★

Nevada

-✔

★★

New Mexico

★★

New York

Oklahoma

★★★★

Oregon

★★

Pennsylvania

-✔

★★★★

Rhode Island

Tennessee

-✔

★★★★

Texas

★★

Utah

★★★★

Vermont

★★★★

Washington

West Virginia

★★★

Guam

* However, the language is vague and has not been tested in court.