Covered Speech: A+
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: A-
Covered Speech: 100 out of 100 points
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: 91 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: 25 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

Oklahoma’s anti-SLAPP statute,[1] the Oklahoma Citizens Participation Act, protects the exercise of the right of free speech, right to petition, and right to association; the statute defines those terms broadly and extensively, and says that the law “shall be construed liberally to effectuate its purpose and intent fully.” Although discovery is suspended once an anti-SLAPP motion is filed, a court may nonetheless allow specified and limited discovery relevant to the motion to dismiss, if good cause is shown. To prevail against an anti-SLAPP motion, the respondent must show by clear and specific evidence a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim. The statute requires an appellate court to “expedite an appeal or other writ, whether interlocutory or not” from a court order on an anti-SLAPP motion or from the court’s failure to rule on that motion. The court “shall award to the moving party… reasonable attorney fees and other expenses incurred in defending against the legal action as justice and equity may require.” Oklahoma courts have interpreted that portion of the statute to mean that an award of attorney fees to a prevailing defendant is mandatory. The phrase “as justice and equity may require” applies only to “other expenses incurred in defending against the legal action” and not the award of fees.[2] The statute also says that if the anti-SLAPP motion is frivolous or solely intended to delay, the court may award costs and attorney fees to the respondent. The statute also allows for “[s]anctions against the party who brought the legal action as the court determines sufficient to deter the party who brought the legal action from bringing similar actions.” 

[1] Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 1430 through § 1440.

[2] Thacker v. Walton, 491 P.3d 756, 2021 OK Civ. App. 5 (Okla. Civ. App. 2021)

Dan Greenberg, David Keating, & Helen Knowles-Gardner