Payne v. District of Columbia, et al.

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.

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