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Councilmember Sharon Ambrose introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on
To provide immunity from lawsuits for actions in the exercise of person's right of free speech.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act be cited as the "Community Participation Protection Act of 2001 ".Sec. 2. Immunity from exercise of right of petition of free speech
(a) A person shall be immune from any cause of action arising from any act in good faith of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution in connection with a public issue.
(b) If a motion to dismiss the complaint is filed within 60 days of the service of the complaint or, in the court's discretion, at any later time, all discovery proceedings in the action may be stayed. The stay of discovery shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion.
(c) If a defendant prevails on a motion to dismiss the complaint or otherwise successfully asserts the defense provided under subsection (a) of this section, the defendant shall recover his or her attorney's fees and costs. If the court finds that a motion to dismiss or a defense under subsection (a) of this section is frivolous or is solely intended to cause unnecessary delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff.
(d) For the purposes of this section, an act in furtherance of a person' s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution in connection with a public issue shall include:
(e) The immunity conferred by subsection (a) of this section shall not attach if the person communicates information which he or she:
Sec. 3. Fiscal Impact Statement
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 603(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 ( 87 Stat.; DC Official Code §206.02).
Sec. 4. Effective Date
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; DC Official Code §206.02), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.
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