2012 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 12 Courts and Civil Proceedings
12-752 Strategic lawsuits against public participation; motion to dismiss
12-752. Strategic lawsuits against public participation; motion to dismiss
A. In any legal action that involves a party's exercise of the right of petition, the defending party may file a motion to dismiss the action under this section. When possible, the court shall give calendar preference to an action that is brought under this subsection and shall conduct an expedited hearing after the motion is filed with the court and notice of the motion has been served as provided by court rule.
B. The court shall grant the motion unless the party against whom the motion is made shows that the moving party's exercise of the right of petition did not contain any reasonable factual support or any arguable basis in law and that the moving party's acts caused actual compensable injury to the responding party. In making its determination, the court shall consider the pleadings and supporting and opposing affidavits stating facts on which the liability or defense is based. At the request of the moving party, the court shall make findings whether the lawsuit was brought to deter or prevent the moving party from exercising constitutional rights and is thereby brought for an improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. If the court finds that the lawsuit was brought to deter or prevent the exercise of constitutional rights or otherwise brought for an improper purpose, the moving party is encouraged to pursue additional sanctions as provided by court rule.
C. The motion to dismiss may be filed within ninety days after the service of the complaint or, in the court's discretion, at any later time on terms that the court deems proper.
D. If the court grants the motion to dismiss, the court shall award the moving party costs and reasonable attorney fees, including those incurred for the motion. If the court finds that a motion to dismiss is frivolous or solely intended to delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party on the motion. For the purposes of this subsection, "costs" means all costs that are reasonably incurred in connection with a motion to dismiss pursuant to this section and includes filing fees, record preparation and document copying fees, documented time away from employment to confer with counsel or attend case related proceedings, expert witness fees, travel expenses and any other costs that the court deems appropriate.
E. This article does not:
1. Affect, limit or preclude the right of the moving party to any remedy otherwise authorized by law.
2. Apply to an enforcement action that is brought in the name of this state or a political subdivision of this state.
3. Create any privileges or immunities or otherwise affect, limit or preclude any privileges or immunities authorized by law.
4. Limit or preclude a legislative or executive body or a public agency from enforcing the rules of procedure and rules of order of the body or agency.
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