Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are civil actions with little merit advanced with the intent of stifling participation in public policy and decision-making. Most SLAPPs succeed in silencing opposition because public interest groups and ordinary citizens do not have the money to fight the claim in court. A lawsuit against someone practicing civil disobedience is not a SLAPP. SLAPPs are lawsuits aimed at silencing lawful forms of public participation, such as starting a petition, or posting information on the Internet.
The West Coast Environmental Law SLAPP Handbook
Participation; Environmental movement;
November 1, 2002
West Coast Environmental Law