SB 232 - This act provides that all conduct, speech or other petitioning activities made in connection with a public meeting shall be immune from civil liability if such conduct is aimed at procuring any government action. Under current law, a party sued for such conduct is authorized to file a special motion to dismiss the action. This act provides that the motion shall be granted unless the responding party produces clear and convincing evidence that the moving party is not immunized from liability.
A party who prevails on a special motion may petition the court for actual and punitive damages for abuse of process and malicious prosecution. Expenses of a party initiating legal action based on such conduct, speech or other petitioning activities shall qualify as a tax deductible business expense.
The Attorney General is authorized to intervene and assume the costs of defending a suit which appears to be violating a Missouri citizen's speech which is immune from civil liability as provided in this act.