New Mexico Court of Appeals Decision Shows Need for Federal Anti-SLAPP Law
The New Mexico Court of Appeals allowed a $4 million lawsuit to resume after it had previously been ruled a SLAPP by a district court judge. A district court judge ruled that a lawsuit by a development company against local landowners violated the state’s anti-SLAPP law because it was based on a previous lawsuit that the landowners had filed against the developer. The appellate court reversed this decision and stated that:
“the Anti-SLAPP statute applies when someone files a lawsuit in retaliation for conduct or speech in connection with a public hearing or meeting in a quasi-judicial proceeding before a tribunal or decision-making body of any political subdivision of the state. The court stated that the landowners’ lawsuit was “a purely judicial proceeding, not a quasi-judicial proceeding,” and the “parties invoked the jurisdiction of and appeared before a court, not a public meeting, village council, or planning board.”
This decision, and the narrow scope of New Mexico’s anti-SLAPP law, show the need for strong and robust federal anti-SLAPP legislation that protects not only statements made in “quasi-judicial proceedings” but those made in “official proceedings” as well.
Read more about this case from the Sangre Chronicle here: http://www.sangrechronicle.com/articles/2012/12/06/angel_fire/doc50bf7f61a13df303640018.txt