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File #: 160183    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 3/3/2016 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 3/10/2016
Title: Urging The Pennsylvania General Assembly to consider Senate Bill 95 introduced by Senator Larry Farnese on March 31, 2015 regarding Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation.
Sponsors: Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember O'Neill, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 16018300.pdf
Title
Urging The Pennsylvania General Assembly to consider Senate Bill 95 introduced by Senator Larry Farnese on March 31, 2015 regarding Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation.

Body
WHEREAS, A SLAPP is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, brought against an individual or organization solely to have a chilling effect on debate of public issues; and

WHEREAS, Individuals and organizations have often been the victims of SLAPP lawsuits after speaking critically of a person or organization with deep pockets. The SLAPP is filed to drown the speaker in legal fees, filings, and proceedings, so that the speaker will rescind his or her statement and others will be deterred from engaging in similar debates; and

WHEREAS, Senator Farnese felt the need to introduce Senate Bill 95 after the Old City Civic Association, a 40-year-running community organization was forced to shut its doors due to their inability to obtain insurance because of several SLAPP lawsuits. With the help of organizations like the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Public Participation Project, and the PA News Media Association, Senator Farnese learned that The Old City Civic Association case was not an isolated incident and that SLAPP lawsuits had been filed against numerous individuals and organizations throughout the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in April 2014, Senator Farnese heard from individuals and organizations across the Commonwealth who had been the victims of SLAPPs. These individuals spoke of the insurmountable emotional, mental, and financial hardships they faced as a result of frivolous SLAPP lawsuits; and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 95 gives these individuals and organizations the incentive and the tools to fight back and continue their good work. Senator Farnese's bill allows victims of SLAPPs to immediately file a motion to dismiss a frivolous lawsuit based on protected communication. Specifica...

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