Illinois Anti-SLAPP Laws Acts UPEPA
Illinois Illinois IllinoisAntiSlappActsLaws
Illinois Anti-SLAPP Acts & Laws
735 ILCS 110/1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Citizen Participation Act.
735 ILCS 110/5. Public policy
Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government, it is declared to be the public policy of the State of Illinois that the constitutional rights of citizens and organizations to be involved and participate freely in the process of government must be encouraged and safeguarded with great diligence. The information, reports, opinions, claims, arguments, and other expressions provided by citizens are vital to effective law enforcement, the operation of government, the making of public policy and decisions, and the continuation of representative democracy. The laws, courts, and other agencies of this State must provide the utmost protection for the free exercise of these rights of petition, speech, association, and government participation.
Civil actions for money damages have been filed against citizens and organizations of this State as a result of their valid exercise of their constitutional rights to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in and communicate with government. There has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits termed “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” in government or “SLAPPs” as they are popularly called.
The threat of SLAPPs significantly chills and diminishes citizen participation in government, voluntary public service, and the exercise of these important constitutional rights. This abuse of the judicial process can and has been used as a means of intimidating, harassing, or punishing citizens and organizations for involving themselves in public affairs.
It is in the public interest and it is the purpose of this Act to strike a balance between the rights of persons to file lawsuits for injury and the constitutional rights of persons to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in government; to protect and encourage public participation in government to the maximum extent permitted by law; to establish an efficient process for identification and adjudication of SLAPPs; and to provide for attorney’s fees and costs to prevailing movants.
735 ILCS /10. Definitions
“Government” includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, official, employee, agent, or other person acting under color of law of the United States, a state, a subdivision of a state, or another public authority including the electorate.
“Person” includes any individual, corporation, association, organization, partnership, 2 or more persons having a joint or common interest, or other legal entity.
“Judicial claim” or “claim” include any lawsuit, cause of action, claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or other judicial pleading or filing alleging injury.
“Motion” includes any motion to dismiss, for summary judgment, or to strike, or any other judicial pleading filed to dispose of a judicial claim.
“Moving party” means any person on whose behalf a motion described in subsection (a) of Section 20 is filed seeking dismissal of a judicial claim.
“Responding party” means any person against whom a motion described in subsection (a) of Section 20 is filed.
735 ILCS 110/15. Applicability
This Act applies to any motion to dispose of a claim in a judicial proceeding on the grounds that the claim is based on, relates to, or is in response to any act or acts of the moving party in furtherance of the moving party’s rights of petition, speech, association, or to otherwise participate in government.
Acts in furtherance of the constitutional rights to petition, speech, association, and participation in government are immune from liability, regardless of intent or purpose, except when not genuinely aimed at procuring favorable government action, result, or outcome.
735 ILCS 110/20. Motion procedure and standards
(a) On the filing of any motion as described in Section 15, a hearing and decision on the motion must occur within 90 days after notice of the motion is given to the respondent. An appellate court shall expedite any appeal or other writ, whether interlocutory or not, from a trial court order denying that motion or from a trial court’s failure to rule on that motion within 90 days after that trial court order or failure to rule.
(b) Discovery shall be suspended pending a decision on the motion. However, discovery may be taken, upon leave of court for good cause shown, on the issue of whether the movants acts are not immunized from, or are not in furtherance of acts immunized from, liability by this Act.
(c) 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, or are not in furtherance of acts immunized from, liability by this Act.
735 ILCS 110/25. Attorney’s fees and costs
The court shall award a moving party who prevails in a motion under this Act reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in connection with the motion.
735 ILCS 110/30. Construction of Act
(a) Nothing in this Act shall limit or preclude any rights the moving party may have under any other constitutional, statutory, case or common law, or rule provisions.
(b) This Act shall be construed liberally to effectuate its purposes and intent fully.
735 ILCS 110/35. Severability
The provisions of this Act are severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.