Court Dismisses SLAPP Lawsuit Over Fracking Against Butler County Homeowners and Parents of Mars Students
Court Dismisses SLAPP Lawsuit Over Fracking Against Butler County Homeowners and Parents of Mars Students:
In his ruling Judge Yeager said the actions of the Middlesex residents, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Clean Air Council were clearly “protected activity”, that they had “engaged in their basic and fundamental right to petition the government as is provided by the First Amendment” and that their actions were therefore not rightfully the subject of this kind of lawsuit. The ACLU of Pennsylvania was part of the legal team that helped defend against the claims. The ACLU, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Clean Air Council characterized the lawsuit as a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation), which is a dangerous legal tactic designed to stifle dissent and punish core First Amendment-protected activities, such as speaking at public meetings and filing appropriate legal challenges to the proposed commercial activity.
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