Public Act 095-0506
Public Act 0506 95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 095-0506
||LRB095 11109 AJO 31442 b
AN ACT concerning citizen participation.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Pursuant to the fundamental
philosophy of the
constitutional form of government,
it is declared to be the public policy of
the State of Illinois
that the constitutional rights of citizens and
be involved and participate freely in the process of
encouraged and safeguarded with great diligence. The
opinions, claims, arguments, and other
expressions provided by citizens are
vital to effective law
enforcement, the operation of government, the making of
policy and decisions, and the continuation of representative
The laws, courts, and other agencies of this State
must provide the utmost
protection for the free exercise of
these rights of petition, speech,
Civil actions for money damages have been filed against
organizations of this State as a result of their
valid exercise of their
constitutional rights to petition,
speak freely, associate freely, and
and communicate with government. There has been a disturbing
increase in lawsuits termed "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public
government or "SLAPPs" as they are popularly
The threat of SLAPPs
significantly chills and diminishes
citizen participation in government,
voluntary public service,
and the exercise of these important constitutional
abuse of the judicial process can and has been used as a means
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,
participate in government; to protect and encourage public
participation in government to the maximum extent permitted by
establish an efficient process for identification and
adjudication of SLAPPs;
and to provide for attorney's fees and
to prevailing movants.
In this Act:
"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
"Person" includes any individual, corporation,
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
"Motion" includes any motion to dismiss, for summary
judgment, or to strike, or any other judicial pleading filed to
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
"Responding party" means any person against whom a motion
described in subsection (a) of Section 20 is filed.
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
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
association, and participation in government
are immune from liability,
regardless of intent or purpose,
except when not genuinely aimed at procuring
government action, result, or outcome.
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
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
(b) Discovery shall be suspended pending a decision on the
discovery may be taken, upon leave of court
for good cause shown, on the issue
of whether the movants
are not immunized from, or are not in furtherance of acts
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
of acts immunized from, liability by this Act.
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.
Construction of Act.
(a) Nothing in this Act shall limit or preclude any rights
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
The provisions of this Act
severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
This Act takes effect upon
Effective Date: 8/28/2007