Payne v. District of Columbia, et al., No. 2012-ca-6163 (DC Superior Court)
Importance: The DC anti-SLAPP statute was used to dismiss an employment-related defamation action against the District of Columbia.
Summary: Payne, a former District of Columbia employee, alleged that the DC CFO defamed him when the CFO told a reporter that Payne was terminated for performance issues. The Superior Court granted the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that the lawsuit involved a matter of public interest (“actions by a government agency, a government official and a government employee’s conduct”) and Payne was not likely to prevail on the merits because the statement was published with privilege.
Payne did not file a notice of appeal, and the defendants did not seek attorneys’ fees.
- Complaint filed in DC Superior Court (filed July 30, 2012)
- Amended Complaint filed in DC Superior Court (November 2, 2012)
- Defendants anti-SLAPP brief (filed November 14, 2012)
- Payne opposition brief (filed December 17, 2012)
- Defendants reply brief in support of their anti-SLAPP motion (filed January 7, 2013)
- Superior Court opinion granting anti-SLAPP motion (dated May 28, 2013)
- Can District of Columbia Use Anti-SLAPP Statute Against Defamation Suit? (posted November 5, 2012)
- Roundup on Pending Cases Involving the DC anti-SLAPP Statute (posted November 28, 2012)
- Eric Payne Responds to District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP Motion (posted December 19, 2012)
- Does DC anti-SLAPP statute apply to suit against government official? (posted February 13, 2013)
- Superior Court Judge Grants District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP Motion against Former Employee (posted June 3, 2013)