Update: The Law Court agreed with the ACLU of Maine's position to revise how courts apply the anti-SLAPP law, but permitted Thurlow's lawsuit to move forward (contrary to the ACLU's position).

The ACLU of Maine and University of Maine School of Law professor Jeff Thaler submitted an amicus brief to Maine's highest court, defending Maine's law governing so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation or SLAPP.

Maine's anti-SLAPP law allows the party being sued (the defendant) to ask a judge to dismiss the case against them, if the case was initiated with the purpose of chilling First Amendment protected activity or to retaliate against the defendant for engaging in protected activity. 

In this case, the defendants, the Nelsons, engaged in protected First Amendment activity when they wrote to their school administrators after they felt the former principal at their son's school didn't do enough to protect him from bullying. The former principal sued the Nelsons. 


Maine Supreme Judicial Court



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