Covered Speech: A-
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: B+
Covered Speech: 90 out of 100 points
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: 86 out of 100 points
Detailed Scoring on Anti-SLAPP Procedures  
Suspension of Court Proceedings Upon an Anti-SLAPP Motion: 18 of 20 points
Burden of Proof on Plaintiff to Defeat an Anti-SLAPP Motion: 12 of 12 points
Right to an Immediate Appeal: 20 of 25 points
Award of Costs and Attorney Fees: 36 of 40 points
Expansive Statutory Interpretation Instruction to Courts: 0 of 3 points

State Anti-SLAPP Statute

Connecticut’s anti-SLAPP statute[1] protects statements that are based on the exercise of constitutional rights of free speech, petition, or association in connection to a matter of public concern. (However, because the statute defines a matter of public concern as an issue related to “(A) health or safety, (B) environmental, economic or community well-being, (C) the government, zoning and other regulatory matters, (D) a public official or public figure, or (E) an audiovisual work,” this scope of coverage appears to exclude some kinds of speech.) Although discovery is stayed once an anti-SLAPP motion is filed, a court may nonetheless order that specified and limited discovery be conducted upon its own motion or if good cause is shown. To prevail against an anti-SLAPP motion, the respondent must both provide the circumstances of the complaint with particularity and establish that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent will prevail at trial. Although the statute’s language does not provide for a general right of interlocutory appeal of an anti-SLAPP motion, in three rulings issued in May 2023 the Connecticut Supreme Court held that caselaw and legislative history provide speakers with that right.[2] Generally, a court must award costs and attorney fees to the prevailing movant on an anti-SLAPP motion; conversely, if the court finds the motion to be frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay, then it must award costs and attorney fees to the prevailing respondent. 

[1] Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-196a.

[2] See Smith v. Supple, 346 Conn. 928 (2023); Pryor v. Brignole, 346 Conn. 534, 292 A.3d 701 (2023); Robinson v. V.D., 346 Conn. 1002 (2023). 

Dan Greenberg, David Keating, & Helen Knowles-Gardner