Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
anonymity, anti-slapp, california, slapp

California Looks To Strengthen Anti-SLAPP Laws; Protect Online Anonymity

from the good-for-them dept

We've covered various anti-SLAPP laws in the past. These are laws that protect people from bogus lawsuits that are merely designed to shut them up. SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are basically when a large corporation just files suit against someone knowing that the lawsuit alone will cause them problems, no matter how bogus the lawsuit is. Many states have created anti-SLAPP laws that let victims of SLAPP suits ask for them to be quickly dismissed. California has good anti-SLAPP laws, but they may get even stronger. While current California law lets those accused in SLAPP lawsuits to also get back attorneys fees, the law may now be extended to cover lawsuits filed outside of California against California residents. This should serve to help protect anonymity online as well as the ability to speak out against much larger entities. Hopefully, other states will follow suit as well.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    eleete, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 7:29pm


    A small step toward tort reform. Well needed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Sean, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    I like the sound of that

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 7:59pm

    What the hell

    Something GOOD being pushed into law? Blashphemy.

    Seriously though, legislation is all good and all but why do legislatures fell they HAVE to make a law? Its like all those ban X gadget while driving. All they do is cost us money and make the politicians seem like they are doing anything.

    Meanwhile the good ol' Reckless Driving laws that usually are up to a cop's "best judgment" already exist but are not applied when someone is driving recklessly, just beacuse they were on a cellphone or using a pager.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    inc, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 8:27pm

    they should add treble damages to make that especially distasteful for bogus lawsuits

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    zeroJJ, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 9:02pm


    If the price of fruits and nuts weren't so high these days, I would be living in California right now!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anon, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 12:21am


    What did California say to the face?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    I am not a lawer and worse I know nothing of law but it is my understanding that when a resident or company in one state sues a operson or company in a different state that is a Federal matter not a state matter.

    If this is correct then what it appears is that CA is up to their old trick of attempting to take CA law and applying it to residents in a different state.

    Can't wate till this reaches Federal court. I suspect the slap down is going to be real hard again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    @ 7

    No, you can file suit against anyone but it must be filed where you reside or where they reside. Where the suit is filed usually determines what the laws are regarding your suit.

    For instance, a gay couple might marry and then split up, with one partner moving to Oklahoma. They could file suit in thier home state or in Oklahoma, but in Oklahoma no divorce would be granted because they wouldn't see the arriage as legal. If they filed in thier home state, it would proceed as a straight divorce.

    It becomes a federal matter when it affects federal law, not when it crosses federal lines. You might be thinking of commiting crimes across state lines, but that doesn't even apply unless the feds want to prosecute that case. They can, but they certainly don't have to. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Oh, also...

    ...making sure that your residents are protected by your law even if they're sued elsewhere is not new, just the awesome SLAPP protection is.

    In Oklahoma, if you get divorced and the non-custodial parent moves to another state, they must still abide by OK state law regarding child support. And if they choose to go to court for modifications, it has to be filed in Oklahoma no matter where the plaintiff lives.

    This is Oklahoma's way of extending Oklahoma's laws to the Oklahoma residents (the child and custodial parent) regardless of where the plaintiff/non-custodial parent might be.

    Other states do it for other reasons, also. So it's certainly not a new pratice. Yay for SLAPP!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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