Bill Text: TX HB3547 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to civil actions involving the exercise of certain constitutional rights.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-18 - Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence [HB3547 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3547-Introduced.html
  86R11341 SCL-F
 
  By: Moody H.B. No. 3547
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to civil actions involving the exercise of certain
  constitutional rights.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Sections 27.001(2) and (6), Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code, are amended to read as follows:
               (2)  "Exercise of the right of association" means a
  communication between individuals who join together to
  collectively express, promote, pursue, or defend common interests.
  The term does not include a communication that is the basis of a
  claim asserting a misappropriation of a trade secret or a breach of
  a covenant not to compete.
               (6)  "Legal action" means a lawsuit, cause of action,
  petition, complaint, cross-claim, or counterclaim or any other
  judicial pleading or filing that requests legal, [or] equitable, or
  declaratory relief.
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Section 27.003, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 27.003.  MOTION TO DISMISS; RESPONSE.
         SECTION 3.  Section 27.003, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding
  Subsections (d) and (e) to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by this subsection, if [If] a legal
  action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party's
  exercise of the right of free speech, right to petition, or right of
  association, that party may file a motion to dismiss the legal
  action. A party that is a governmental entity or governmental
  official or employee acting in an official capacity may not file a
  motion to dismiss under this subsection.
         (b)  A motion to dismiss a legal action under this section
  must be filed not later than the 60th day after the date of service
  of the legal action. The parties may agree to extend the time to
  file a motion under this section, or the court may extend the time
  to file a motion under this section on a showing of good cause.
         (d)  The moving party shall provide a nonmoving party written
  notice of the date and time of the hearing on the motion to dismiss
  not later than the 14th day before the date of the hearing unless
  otherwise provided by an agreement of the parties or an order of the
  court.
         (e)  A party responding to the motion to dismiss shall file
  the response not later than the seventh day before the date of the
  hearing on the motion to dismiss unless otherwise provided by an
  agreement of the parties or an order of the court.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 27.005(a) and (d), Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The court must rule on a motion under Section 27.003 not
  later than the 30th day following the date on which [of] the hearing
  on the motion concludes.
         (d)  Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (c), the
  court shall dismiss a legal action against the moving party if the
  moving party establishes that the legal action fails as a matter of
  law [by a preponderance of the evidence each essential element of a
  valid defense to the nonmovant's claim].
         SECTION 5.  The heading to Section 27.006, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 27.006.  PROOF [EVIDENCE].
         SECTION 6.  Section 27.006(a), Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In determining whether a legal action should be
  dismissed under this chapter, the court shall consider the
  pleadings, admissible evidence submitted by the parties, and
  supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts on which the
  liability or defense is based.
         SECTION 7.  Chapter 27, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by adding Section 27.0075 to read as follows:
         Sec. 27.0075.  EFFECT OF RULING. (a) A court's ruling on a
  motion filed under Section 27.003 or the fact that the court made
  the ruling is not admissible in evidence at any later stage of the
  legal action.
         (b)  A court's ruling on a motion filed under Section 27.003
  does not affect a party's applicable burden of proof.
         SECTION 8.  Section 27.009(a), Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  If the court orders dismissal of a legal action under
  this chapter, the court [shall award to the moving party]:
               (1)  shall award to the moving party court costs and[,]
  reasonable attorney's fees[, and other expenses] incurred in
  defending against the legal action [as justice and equity may
  require]; and
               (2)  may award to the moving party sanctions 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 described in this chapter.
         SECTION 9.  The heading to Section 27.010, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 27.010.  APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER [EXEMPTIONS].
         SECTION 10.  Section 27.010, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended by adding Subsections (c-1) and (e) to read as
  follows:
         (c-1)  Notwithstanding Subsections (b) and (c), this chapter
  applies to a legal action against a person based on the creation,
  dissemination, exhibition, advertisement, or other similar
  promotion of a dramatic, literary, musical, political, or other
  artistic work, including a motion picture or television program, or
  an article published in a newspaper or magazine of general
  circulation.
         (e)  This chapter does not apply to an action filed under
  Title 1, 2, 4, or 5, Family Code, or an application for a protective
  order under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure.
         SECTION 11.  Section 27.011, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  This chapter does not limit or preclude the enforcement
  by a legislative or executive body or a public agency of the rules
  of procedure and rules of order of the body or agency.
         SECTION 12.  Section 27.007, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 13.  Chapter 27, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
  as amended by this Act, applies only to an action filed on or after
  the effective date of this Act. An action filed before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law applicable to the
  action immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that
  law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 14.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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