Smart Strategies For High-Stakes Situations

4 elements needed for filing an Anti-SLAPP motion

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Anti-SLAPP, blog

Navigating the legal landscape in California involves understanding various motions and procedures.

One notable legal recourse available is the Anti-SLAPP motion. Strategic and effective, this motion serves as a shield against lawsuits aiming to stifle free speech. To successfully file an Anti-SLAPP motion, one must grasp the key elements integral to its process.

1. Protected activity identification

At the core of an Anti-SLAPP motion lies the identification of a protected activity. This refers to actions or expressions falling under the umbrella of the First Amendment, such as free speech or petitioning the government. Clearly outlining how the defendant’s actions align with these protected activities is necessary for a successful motion.

2. Establishing a probability of success

To thwart a potential Anti-SLAPP motion, the plaintiff must demonstrate a likelihood of winning the case. In California, this means showcasing that their claims hold water. Therefore, the defendant, when filing an Anti-SLAPP motion, must present a strong case demonstrating that the plaintiff’s claims lack substantial evidence. This element serves as a linchpin for the success of the motion.

3. Timing is of the essence

Timing plays a key role when filing an Anti-SLAPP motion. California requires filing this motion in the early stages of litigation, usually within 60 days of receiving the complaint. Missing this window of opportunity may jeopardize the chance to avail oneself of the Anti-SLAPP protection.

4. Prevailing on the merits

Ultimately, the defendant filing an Anti-SLAPP motion must not only demonstrate protected activity but also showcase a likelihood of prevailing on the merits. This means proving that even if assuming the plaintiff’s claims are true, the legal arguments and evidence support the defendant’s position.

Anti-SLAPP motions offer protection when lawsuits aim to restrict a person’s or entity’s free speech rights. Mastering the Anti-SLAPP motion requires a nuanced understanding of its key elements.