Klocke v. Watson, No. 17-11320 (5th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit held that the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which is a type of anti-SLAPP statute, does not apply to diversity cases in federal court. In this case, plaintiff's son committed suicide after being refused permission to graduate. The son was allegedly the victim of defendant's false charge of homophobic harassment, for which the University administered its severe punishment after allegedly violating Title IX procedures designed to achieve due process. Plaintiff filed suit against the University for Title IX violations and defendant for common law defamation and defamation per se. Defendant moved to dismiss the defamation claims under the Act. In light of its holding, the court reversed the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss and remanded, holding that plaintiff may pursue his case under the federal rules unhindered by the Act.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 29, 2019.