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house Bill H.R. 4364

Citizen Participation Act of 2009

Bill Details

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Citizen Participation Act of 2009

Official Title

To protect first amendment rights of petition and free speech by preventing States and the United States from allowing meritless lawsuits arising from acts in furtherance of those rights, commonly called "SLAPPs", and for other purposes.


Citizen Participation Act of 2009 - Declares that Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), filed against thousands of individuals, organizations, and businesses based upon their valid exercise of the rights to petition or free speech, are an abuse of the judicial process that waste judicial resources and clog the already over-burdened court dockets. Declares immune from civil liability any act of petitioning the government made without knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of falsity. Requires a plaintiff (especially in a SLAPP) to prove knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of falsity by clear and convincing evidence. Provides that any act in futherance of the constitutional right of petition or free speech shall be entitled to the procedural protections provided in this Act. Allows a party to file a special motion to dismiss any claim arising from an act or alleged act in furtherance of the constitutional right of petition or free speech within 45 days after service of the claim if the claim was filed in federal court or, if the claim was removed to federal court pursuant to this Act, within 15 days after removal. Exempts from this Act: (1) certain procedural protections in any action brought solely on behalf of the public or solely to enforce an important right affecting the public interest; and (2) certain claims for relief involving commercial speech.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
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      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
    IntroducedDecember 16th, 2009

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