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ANTI SLAPP MOTION EXAMPLE IN TEXAS

Texas anti-SLAPP law

Written by Robert Ray

I am a Texas attorney. I am Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Background

An example of a motion to dismiss under the Texas anti-SLAPP statute that was approved by the Texas Supreme Court was only a basic invocation of the TCPA.

This case involves a non-client filing suit against an opposing attorney for statements made in open court. I have written about that part of the case here. This post discusses an example of the minimum requirements of a motion to dismiss that was approved by the Texas Supreme Court in a Texas anti-SLAPP case.

Facts

In Youngkin v. Hines, 546 S.W.3d 675, (Tex. 2018), the movant filed a motion to dismiss under the Texas anti-SLAPP statute

In the trial court, Youngkin filed a motion to dismiss that said simply “NOW COMES Defendant Bill Youngkin and moves the Court to dismiss the claims against him pursuant to the Texas ‘Anti-SLAPP Statute,’ i.e., Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 27.003.” He did not attach any evidence or arguments to that motion, but he filed a supporting memorandum two days later that contained legal argumentation in support of the attorney-immunity defense. Hines contends that Youngkin cannot have met his statutory burden because he submitted no evidence. We disagree.

Though it would have been better practice for Youngkin to have submitted an affidavit attesting to those necessary facts, it does not prevent him from proving his defense under the circumstances of this case.

Update

In In re A.E., 12-18-00123-CV, (Tex. App. – Tyler March 29, 2019 pet. for mandamus denied) (mem. op.), the movant filed a motion to dismiss within the 60 day time limits but he “did not mention the TCPA, any statute pertaining to the TCPA, or contain any argument regarding the TCPA. The remainder of R.R.’s motion involved his objection to having “religion” imposed on him by the Department. Because R.R.’s motion did not mention, refer to, or present any argument regarding the TCPA, it is not a timely filed TCPA motion.”

Conclusion and Disposition

While in the Youngkin case it would have been better for the movant to spruce up his motion to dismiss and add an affidavit or two, a basic motion to dismiss is what will work in Texas. However, as shown by the In the Interest of A.E. case, you must at least mention the TCPA. These cases are anti slapp motion examples for Texas.

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