Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of MinnesotaAnnotate this Case
Minn. Stat. 554.02, a section of Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law, is unconstitutional as applied to claims at law alleging torts.
Petitioners sued Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM), a nonprofit organization, seeking to recover under a number of legal theories of injuries allegedly inflicted by AWUM through four previous lawsuits. AWUM moved for dismissal under Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law. Minn. Stat. 554.01-.06. The district court dismissed all of Petitioners’ claims with the exception of their claim for malicious prosecution. The district court concluded that Minn. Stat. 554.02 - the section of the law that governs motions “to dispose of a judicial claim” - violated Petitioners’ right to a jury trial by requiring the trial judge to find facts. As a result, the district court denied AWUM’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 554.02 is unconstitutional when it requires a district court to make a pretrial finding that speech or conduct is not tortious under Minn. Stat. 554.03, as was the case here.