Representative Joe Moody has introduced HB 3547, a bill to amend the Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA, law.  Moody from El Paso currently serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House, as vice chair of the Calendars Committee, and as a member of the committees on Business and Industry, Redistricting, and Criminal Jurisprudence.

His amendments would:

  1. 27.001(2) – Change right of association to exclude trade secrets or non-compete covenants;
  2. 27.001(6) – Add declaratory judgments to the definition of legal actions;
  3. 27.003 – Title changed to MOTION TO DISMISS; RESPONSE;
  4. 27.003(a) – The government nor a government official can file a motion to dismiss;
  5. 27.003(b) – File the motion to dismiss within 60 days unless the parties agree to extend the time;
  6. 27.003(d) – The movant must notify the nonmovant 14 days in advance of the date and place of a hearing on the motion unless the parties agree otherwise or unless the court orders otherwise;
  7. 27.003(e) – The nonmovant must file a response  seven days before the hearing unless the parties agree otherwise or unless the court orders otherwise;
  8. 27.005(a) – The court must rule on the motion not later than the 30th day on which the hearing concludes;
  9. 27.005(d) – Affirmative defense by movant is replaced with movant showing that the legal action fails as a matter of law;
  10. 27.006 – Title changed from EVIDENCE to PROOF;
  11. 27.006(a) – Adds “admissible evidence submitted by the parties” to court shall consider the pleadings, admissible evidence submitted by the parties and affidavits;
  12. 27.007 – ADDITIONAL FINDINGS – Repealed;
  13. 27.0075(a) – Added new section that ruling on motion is not admissible at later stages;
  14. 27.0075(b) – Added new section that ruling on motion to dismiss does not affect a party’s burden of proof;
  15. 27.009(a) – DAMAGES AND COST – deleted court “shall award to the moving party”;
  16. 27.009(a)(1) – added “shall award to the moving party court cost and reasonable attorney’s fees” and deletes “and other expenses”, and deletes “as justice and equity may require”;
  17. 27.009(a)(2) – added “may award to the moving party” sanctions;
  18. 27.010 – APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER replaces old title “EXEMPTONS”;
  19. 27.010(C-1) – New – Notwithstanding Subsections (b) and (c), this chapter applies to a legal action against a person based on the creation, dissemination, exhibition, advertisement, or other similar promotion of a dramatic, literary, musical, political, or other artistic work, including a motion picture or television program, or an article published in a newspaper or magazine of general circulation;
  20. 27.010(e) – New – This chapter does not apply to an action filed under Title 1, 2, 4, or 5, Family Code, or an application for a protective order under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure; and,
  21. 27.011(c) – New – This chapter does not limit or preclude the enforcement by a legislative or executive body or a public agency of the rules of procedure and rules of order of the body or agency.