language to be deleted (2) new language
CHAPTER 566-S.F.No. 584 An act relating to free speech; protecting citizens and organizations from civil lawsuits for exercising their rights of public participation in government; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 554. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. [554.01] [DEFINITIONS.] Subdivision 1. [SCOPE.] The definitions in this section apply to this chapter. Subd. 2. [GOVERNMENT.] "Government" includes a branch, department, agency, official, employee, agent, or other person with authority to act on behalf of the federal government, this state, or any political subdivision of this state, including municipalities and their boards, commissions, and departments, or other public authority. Subd. 3. [JUDICIAL CLAIM; CLAIM.] "Judicial claim" or "claim" includes any civil lawsuit, cause of action, claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or other judicial pleading or filing seeking damages for an alleged injury. "Judicial claim" does not include a claim solely for injunctive relief. Subd. 4. [MOTION.] "Motion" includes any motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment, or any other judicial pleading filed to dispose of a judicial claim. Subd. 5. [MOVING PARTY.] "Moving party" means any person on whose behalf the motion described in section 2, subdivision 1, is filed seeking dismissal of an action under this chapter. Subd. 6. [PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.] "Public participation" means speech or lawful conduct that is genuinely aimed in whole or in part at procuring favorable government action. Subd. 7. [RESPONDING PARTY.] "Responding party" means any person against whom a motion described in section 2, subdivision 1, is filed. Sec. 2. [554.02] [PROTECTION OF CITIZENS TO PARTICIPATE IN GOVERNMENT.] Subdivision 1. [APPLICABILITY.] This section applies to any motion in a judicial proceeding to dispose of a judicial claim on the grounds that the claim materially relates to an act of the moving party that involves public participation. Subd. 2. [PROCEDURE.] On the filing of any motion described in subdivision 1: (1) discovery must be suspended pending the final disposition of the motion, including any appeal; provided that the court may, on motion and after a hearing and for good cause shown, order that specified and limited discovery be conducted; (2) the responding party has the burden of proof, of going forward with the evidence, and of persuasion on the motion; (3) the court shall grant the motion and dismiss the judicial claim unless the court finds that the responding party has produced clear and convincing evidence that the acts of the moving party are not immunized from liability under section 3; and (4) any governmental body to which the moving party's acts were directed or the attorney general's office may intervene in, defend, or otherwise support the moving party. Sec. 3. [554.03] [IMMUNITY.] Lawful conduct or speech that is genuinely aimed in whole or in part at procuring favorable government action is immune from liability, unless the conduct or speech constitutes a tort or a violation of a person's constitutional rights. Sec. 4. [554.04] [FEES AND DAMAGES.] Subdivision 1. [ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.] The court shall award a moving party who prevails in a motion under this chapter reasonable attorney fees and costs associated with the bringing of the motion. Subd. 2. [DAMAGES.] (a) A moving party may petition the court for damages under this section in conjunction with a motion under this chapter. (b) If a motion under this chapter is granted and the moving party demonstrates that the respondent brought the cause of action in the underlying lawsuit for the purpose of harassment, to inhibit the moving party's public participation, to interfere with the moving party's exercise of protected constitutional rights, or otherwise wrongfully injure the moving party, the court shall award the moving party actual damages. The court may award the moving party punitive damages under section 549.20. A motion to amend the pleadings under section 529.191 is not required under this section, but the claim for punitive damages must meet all other requirements of section 549.191. Sec. 5. [554.05] [RELATIONSHIPS TO OTHER LAW.] Nothing in this chapter limits or precludes any rights the moving party or responding party may have under any other constitutional, statutory, case, or common law, or rule. Sec. 6. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Sections 1 to 5 are effective the day after final enactment and apply to judicial claims commenced on or after that date. Presented to the governor May 3, 1994 Signed by the governor May 5, 1994, 3:20 p.m.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes