News (AP) - Legislation aims to stop some harassment suits

LANSING (AP) -- The Michigan House has approved a bill supporters say protects people from retaliatory lawsuits for certain "free speech" activities, including what they post on social networking sites.

The bill passed 68-34 last Thursday in the Democratic-run House and advances to the Republican-led Senate.

Supporters say it would bar businesses from suing to harass or intimidate people who criticize them. The bill includes protections for postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Courts would dismiss the suits if the comments were covered by free speech or right to petition laws.

Some lawmakers opposed to the bill say it could have unintended consequences. Similar laws in other states have been criticized for blocking access to the courts.


The legislation prohibiting strategic lawsuits against public participation or "SLAPP" lawsuits is House Bill 5036.

Published: Mon, Aug 23, 2010


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