CyberSLAPP cases typically involve a person who has posted criticisms of a corporation or public figure on the Internet. The target of the criticism then files a frivolous lawsuit in an attempt to have the criticism removed, discover the identity if it is an anonymous critic, and/or intimidate or silence the critic.
SLAPP is an acronym for "strategic lawsuit against public participation." SLAPPs have been defined as "civil lawsuits . . . aimed at preventing citizens from exercising their political rights or punishing those who have done so.

A very special Thank You to Ms. Laura Lee Prather for spearheading the Citizens Participation Act and to Mr. David O'Dens for bringing this Act to the courtroom and winning this case.

April 16, 2012. Dallas, Texas.

Precedent-Setting Decision Issued in Texas CyberSLAPP Case.

A Dallas judge set an important legal precedent by granting a Motion to Dismiss to an individual that had been sued for defamation because of critical reviews posted on the Internet.
It is believed that this decision is the first time in Texas the new Citizen’s Participation Act has been applied to a free speech issue on the Internet.  David M. O’Dens of SettlePou in Dallas
successfully invoked the Texas Anti-SLAPP statute to have the case dismissed with prejudice.  Judge Martin Hoffman, of the 68th Civil District Court, in Dallas, issued the initial decision to dismiss the lawsuit on March 6, 2012.   

After subsequent hearings, on April 13, 2011, Judge Hoffman entered his final order in the case awarding the individual sued reimbursement of his attorneys’ fees, court costs and a significant sanction the Court found necessary to prevent the filing of similar lawsuits in the future.

American Heritage Capital, LP, an online mortgage lender, filed the case against Alan and Dinah Gonzalez of Weslaco, Texas. The lawsuit accused the couple of, “making false and defamatory statements that were posted on multiple websites”.
In an email to Dinah Gonzalez, on the day the reviews were posted, Nashuad Prasla (President of AHC), stated in part: “Word to the Wise though. “Don’t fight on every hill.  Choose your battles wisely.  You never know whom or what you are up against.”  You started this.  You can end it.  Otherwise I will end it for you, and it won’t be pretty.  I will protect my company at any cost.”[Sic]  Less than ten days later, AHC filed the lawsuit that was the subject of the motion to dismiss.
“I stated opinions in the reviews about our dealings with this company. I wanted to tell others about the type of service we had received. I think Mr. Prasla wanted to use the threat of incurring huge legal fees to defend a case of defamation as a deterrent to our right of free speech. His threatening email should be used in every law school as a perfect example of the objective of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP)”, stated Alan Gonzalez.
The case is American Heritage Capital, LP v. Dinah Gonzalez and Alan Gonzalez (No. DC-11-13741-C) (filed October 27, 2011).
For further information contact: Alan Gonzalez 210-289-8964
Information about Texas Anti-SLAPP statue: