House File 2339 - Reprinted HOUSE FILE 2339 BY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (SUCCESSOR TO HSB 537) (As Amended and Passed by the House February 25, 2020 ) A BILL FOR An Act relating to judicial motions and causes of action 1 arising from a person’s participation in matters of public 2 significance. 3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 4 HF 2339 (2) 88 ja/jh/md
H.F. 2339 Section 1. NEW SECTION . 619.20 Protection of public 1 participation —— special motion to strike. 2 1. The general assembly finds and declares that it is in the 3 public interest to encourage continued participation in matters 4 of public significance, and that this participation should not 5 be chilled through abuse of the judicial process. To this end, 6 this section shall be construed broadly. 7 2. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise 8 requires: 9 a. “Act in furtherance of the person’s right of petition or 10 free speech under the Constitution of the United States or the 11 Constitution of the State of Iowa in connection with a public 12 issue” includes all of the following: 13 (1) Any written or oral statement or writing made before a 14 legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other 15 official proceeding authorized by law. 16 (2) Any written or oral statement or writing made in 17 connection with an issue under consideration or review by a 18 legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official 19 proceeding authorized by law. 20 (3) Any written or oral statement or writing made in a place 21 open to the public or a public forum in connection with an 22 issue of public interest. 23 (4) Any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the 24 constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right 25 of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of 26 public interest. 27 b. “Complaint” includes a cross-complaint and a petition. 28 c. “Defendant” includes a cross-defendant and a respondent. 29 d. “Plaintiff” includes a cross-complainant and a 30 petitioner. 31 3. a. A cause of action against a person arising from any 32 act or omission of that person in furtherance of the person’s 33 right of petition or free speech under the Constitution of 34 the United States or the Constitution of the State of Iowa in 35 -1- HF 2339 (2) 88 ja/jh/md 1/ 3
H.F. 2339 connection with a public issue shall be subject to a special 1 motion to strike, unless the court determines the plaintiff has 2 established there is a probability the plaintiff will prevail 3 on the claim. 4 b. In making its determination, the court shall consider the 5 pleadings and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the 6 facts upon which the liability or defense is based. 7 c. If the court determines the plaintiff has established 8 a probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim, 9 neither that determination nor the fact of that determination 10 shall be admissible in evidence at any later stage of the 11 case, or in any subsequent action, and no burden of proof 12 or degree of proof otherwise applicable shall be affected by 13 that determination in any later stage of the case or in any 14 subsequent proceeding. 15 4. a. Except as provided in paragraph “b” , in any action 16 subject to subsection 3, a prevailing defendant on a special 17 motion to strike shall be entitled to recover costs and 18 reasonable attorney fees. If the court finds that a special 19 motion to strike is frivolous or is solely intended to cause 20 unnecessary delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable 21 attorney fees incurred in opposing the motion to a plaintiff 22 prevailing on the motion. 23 b. A defendant who prevails on a special motion to strike 24 in an action subject to paragraph “a” shall not be entitled 25 to costs and attorney fees if that cause of action is brought 26 pursuant to chapter 21, 22, or 23. 27 5. The special motion may be filed within sixty days after 28 the service of the complaint or, in the court’s discretion, at 29 any later time upon terms the court deems proper. The motion 30 shall be scheduled for a hearing not more than thirty days 31 after the service of the motion unless the docket conditions of 32 the court require a later hearing. 33 6. All discovery proceedings in the action shall be stayed 34 upon the filing of a notice of motion made pursuant to this 35 -2- HF 2339 (2) 88 ja/jh/md 2/ 3
H.F. 2339 section. The stay of discovery shall remain in effect until 1 notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion. The 2 court, on noticed motion and for good cause shown, may order 3 that specified discovery be conducted notwithstanding this 4 subsection. 5 7. An order granting or denying a special motion to strike 6 shall be appealable under the rules of appellate procedure. 7 8. This section shall not apply to any enforcement action 8 brought by the attorney general, a district attorney, a 9 county attorney, a city attorney, or any attorney charged with 10 prosecuting violations of state or local laws. 11 -3- HF 2339 (2) 88 ja/jh/md 3/ 3