Governor Signs anti-SLAPP Bill, Protecting Calls to Police from Retaliation

A dispute over a campaign sign in 2010 in rural Washington County was the impetus for a new law that will protect a person who calls the police from being sued.


Sometimes the law seems so self-evident, until you see a case in another state that does not afford the same protections as California.

I get innumerable calls from potential clients wanting to sue for what they contend were false police reports. In California, calls to the police are protected speech, even if false. Apparently not so in Minnesota, and this case illustrates why it is a really bad idea to allow a criminally charged defendant to use civil court as a means to badger his accusers. At least Minnesota has seen the error of its ways and is amending the anti-SLAPP law.

[UPDATE:] Minnesota learned its lesson, but California’s Legislature abandoned common sense in order to virtue signal. Beginning January 1, 2021, California no longer affords absolute protection for calls made to the police. The privilege is now conditional, and can be overcome by showing that the report was made with malice. You can now be sued for calling the police.


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Aaron Morris, Attorney
Aaron Morris
Morris & Stone, LLP

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