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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 11, 2019 10:38 AM
From: Representative Martina A. White
To: All House members
Subject: Anti SLAPP Resolution

In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to adopt procedural rules that would address SLAPP lawsuits in Pennsylvania.

SLAPP is an acronym that stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” A SLAPP is a lawsuit against a person or an organization with a primary purpose of silencing that person or organization. The suit might allege defamation, invasion of privacy, nuisance or interference with contract, but the legal theory is largely irrelevant; most often, the plaintiff in a SLAPP suit doesn’t really expect to win on the merits. Instead, the true goal is to bankrupt the defendant by forcing them to defend the suit. Even a meritless suit can take years to resolve and tens of thousands of dollars to defend.

It is expressed in the Pennsylvania Constitution that the Supreme Court has the sole authority to change procedures of the court and is best equipped to address the issue through its rulemaking power and sanctioning authority.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution.

Introduced as HR421