Art. 971. Special motion to strike
A.(1) A cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States or Louisiana Constitution in connection with a public issue shall be subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established a probability of success on the claim.
(2) In making its determination, the court shall consider the pleadings and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts upon which the liability or defense is based.
(3) If the court determines that the plaintiff has established a probability of success on the claim, that determination shall be admissible in evidence at any later stage of the proceeding.
B. In any action subject to Paragraph A of this Article, a prevailing party on a special motion to strike shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.
C.(1) The special motion may be filed within ninety days of service of the petition, or in the court's discretion, at any later time upon terms the court deems proper.
(2) If the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses the action prior to the running of the delays for filing an answer, the defendant shall retain the right to file a special motion to strike within the delays provided by Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, and the motion shall be heard pursuant to the provisions of this Article.
(3) The motion shall be noticed for hearing not more than thirty days after service unless the docket conditions of the court require a later hearing.
D. All discovery proceedings in the action shall be stayed upon the filing of a notice of motion made pursuant to this Article. The stay of discovery shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Paragraph, the court, on noticed motion and for good cause shown, may order that specified discovery be conducted.
E. This Article shall not apply to any enforcement action brought on behalf of the state of Louisiana by the attorney general, district attorney, or city attorney acting as a public prosecutor.
F. As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them below, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) "Act in furtherance of a person's right of petition or free speech under the United States or Louisiana Constitution in connection with a public issue" includes but is not limited to:
(a) Any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law.
(b) Any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official body authorized by law.
(c) Any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest.
(d) Any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.
(2) "Petition" includes either a petition or a reconventional demand.
(3) "Plaintiff" includes either a plaintiff or petitioner in a principal action or a plaintiff or petitioner in reconvention.
(4) "Defendant" includes either a defendant or respondent in a principal action or a defendant or respondent in reconvention.
Acts 1999, No. 734, §1; Acts 2004, No. 232, §1; Acts 2012, No. 449, §1.