Colorado

Although there is no statute in Colorado addressing SLAPP suits, the state’s highest court has held that, because it threatens the First Amendment rights of speech and petition, a SLAPP suit should face a “heightened standard” from a court considering a defendant’s motion to dispose of the claim. Protect Our Mountain Env’t v. Dist. Court, 677 P.2d 1361 (Colo. 1984). Under this standard, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s petition activities were not immune under the First Amendment because: the defendant’s claimed exercise of the petition right lacked any reasonable factual support or cognizable basis; the primary purpose of the petition activity was to harass the plaintiff or achieve some other improper objective; and the activity had the capacity to adversely affect a legal interest of the plaintiff. According to the court, “[t]his standard will safeguard the constitutional right of citizens to utilize the administrative and judicial processes for redress of legal grievances without fear of retaliatory litigation and, at the same time, will permit those truly aggrieved by abuse of these processes to vindicate their own legal rights.”