(1) (a) The general assembly finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.
(b) The general assembly finds that the purpose of this part 11 is to encourage and safeguard the constitutional rights of persons to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in government to the maximum extent permitted by law and, at the same time, to protect the rights of persons to file meritorious lawsuits for demonstrable injury.
(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) Act in furtherance of a persons right of petition or free speech under the United States constitution or the state constitution in connection with a public issue includes:
(I) Any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
(II) Any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
(III) Any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest; or
(IV) Any other conduct or communication in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.
(b) Complaint includes a cross-complaint or a petition.
(c) Defendant includes a cross-defendant or a respondent.
(d) Plaintiff includes a cross-complainant or petitioner.
(3) (a) A cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the persons right of petition or free speech under the United States constitution or the state constitution in connection with a public issue is subject to a special motion to dismiss unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established that there is a reasonable likelihood that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim.
(b) In making its determination, the court shall consider the pleadings and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts upon which the liability or defense is based.
(c) If the court determines that the plaintiff has established a reasonable likelihood that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim, neither that determination nor the fact of that determination is admissible in evidence at any later stage of the case or in any subsequent proceeding, and no burden of proof or degree of proof otherwise applicable is affected by that determination in any later stage of the case or in any subsequent proceeding.
(4) (a) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b) of this section, in any action subject to subsection (3) of this section, a prevailing defendant on a special motion to dismiss is entitled to recover the defendants attorney fees and costs. If the court finds that a special motion to dismiss is frivolous or is solely intended to cause unnecessary delay, pursuant to part 1 of article 17 of this title 13, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to a plaintiff prevailing on the motion.
(b) A defendant who prevails on a special motion to dismiss in an action subject to subsection (4)(a) of this section is not entitled to attorney fees and costs if that cause of action is brought pursuant to part 4 of article 6 of title 24 or the Colorado Open Records Act, part 2 of article 72 of title 24; except that nothing in this subsection (4)(b) prevents a prevailing defendant from recovering attorney fees and costs pursuant to section 24-6-402 (9)(b) or 24-72-204.
(5) The special motion must be filed within sixty-three days after the service of the complaint or, in the courts discretion, at any later time upon terms it deems proper. The motion must be scheduled for a hearing not more than twenty-eight days after the service of the motion unless the docket conditions of the court require a later hearing.
(6) All discovery proceedings in the action are stayed upon the filing of a notice of motion made pursuant to this section. The stay of discovery remains in effect until notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion. The court, on noticed motion and for good cause shown, may order that specified discovery be conducted notwithstanding this subsection (6).
(7) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, an order granting or denying a special motion to dismiss is appealable to the Colorado court of appeals pursuant to section 13-4-102.2.
(8) (a) This section does not apply to:
(I) An action brought by or on behalf of the state or any subdivision of the state enforcing a law or rule or seeking to protect against an imminent threat to health or public safety;
(II) Any action brought solely in the public interest or on behalf of the general public if all of the following conditions exist:
(A) The plaintiff does not seek any relief greater than or different from the relief sought for the general public or a class of which the plaintiff is a member. A claim for attorney fees, costs, or penalties does not constitute greater or different relief for purposes of this subsection (8)(a)(II)(A).
(B) The action, if successful, would enforce an important right affecting the public interest and would confer a significant benefit, whether pecuniary or nonpecuniary, on the general public or a large class of persons; and
(C) Private enforcement is necessary and places a disproportionate financial burden on the plaintiff in relation to the plaintiffs stake in the matter; or
(III) Any cause of action brought against a person primarily engaged in the business of selling or leasing goods or services, including but not limited to insurance, securities, or financial instruments, arising from any statement or conduct by that person if both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The statement or conduct consists of representations of fact about that persons or a business competitors business operations, goods, or services that are made for the purpose of obtaining approval for, promoting, or securing sales or leases of, or commercial transactions in, the persons goods or services, or the statement or conduct was made in the course of delivering the persons goods or services; and
(B) The intended audience is an actual or potential buyer or customer, or a person likely to repeat the statement to, or otherwise influence, an actual or potential buyer or customer, or the statement or conduct arose out of or within the context of a regulatory approval process, proceeding, or investigation, except when the statement or conduct was made by a telephone corporation in the course of a proceeding before the public utilities commission and is the subject of a lawsuit brought by a competitor, notwithstanding that the conduct or statement concerns an important public issue.
(b) Subsections (8)(a)(II) and (8)(a)(III) of this section do not apply to any of the following:
(I) Any publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected with or employed by a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service, or any person who has been so connected or employed; or a radio or television news reporter or other person connected with or employed by a radio or television station, or any person who has been so connected or employed; or any person engaged in the dissemination of ideas or expression in any book or academic journal while engaged in the gathering, receiving, or processing of information for communication to the public; or
(II) Any action against any person or entity based upon the creation, dissemination, exhibition, advertisement, or other similar promotion of any dramatic, literary, musical, political, or artistic work, including but not limited to a motion picture, television program, or an article published in a newspaper or magazine of general circulation.
(9) If any trial court denies a special motion to dismiss on the grounds that the action or cause of action is exempt pursuant to subsection (8) of this section, the appeal provisions in subsection (7) of this section do not apply.
Source: L. 2019: Entire part added, (HB 19-1324), ch. 414, p. 3647, 1, effective July 1.
Annotators note. For a discussion of standing issues in a childs claim for loss of consortium in the death of a parent, an issue of first impression in Colorado, see Reighley v. International Playtex, Inc., 604 F. Supp. 1078 (D. Colo. 1985).
Law reviews: For article, Section 1983 Litigation in State Courts: A Review, see 18 Colo. Law. 27.
Article 21. Damages
Part 1. General Provisions
Part 2. Damages for Death by Negligence
Part 3. Settlements, Releases, and Statements
Part 4. Product Liability Actions - General Provisions
Part 5. Product Liability Actions - Firearms and Ammunition
Part 6. Liability for Electronic Computing Device Failures Associated with the Year 2000 Date Change
Part 7. Year 2000 Citizens Protection Act
Part 8. Drug Dealer Liability Act
Part 9. Liability of Hospital Enterprises for Electronic Computing Device Failures Associated with the Year 2000 Date Change
Part 10. Liability for Computer Dissemination of Indecent Material to Children
Part 11. Commonsense Consumption Act
Part 12. Damages for Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy
Part 13. Wholesale Sales Representatives
Part 14. Uniform Civil Remedies for Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images
13-21-101. Interest on damages
13-21-102. Exemplary damages
13-21-102.5. Limitations on damages for noneconomic loss or injury
13-21-103. Damages for selling liquor to an intoxicated person
13-21-104. Damages for using animal left for keeping
13-21-105. Damages from fire set in woods or prairie - treble damages during drought conditions
13-21-105.5. Infant crib safety act - legislative declaration - definitions - safety standards - exemptions - action for damages
13-21-106. Broadcasting defamatory statements
13-21-106.5. Civil damages for destruction or bodily injury caused by a bias-motivated crime
13-21-106.7. Civil damages for preventing passage to and from a health care facility and engaging in prohibited activity near facility
13-21-107. Damages for destruction or bodily injury caused by minors
13-21-107.5. Civil damages for loss caused by theft
13-21-108. Persons rendering emergency assistance exempt from civil liability
13-21-108.1. Persons rendering emergency assistance through the use of automated external defibrillators - limited immunity
13-21-108.2. Persons rendering emergency assistance - competitive sports - exemption from civil liability
13-21-108.3. Architects, building code officials, professional engineers, and professional land surveyors rendering assistance during emergency or disaster - qualified immunity from civil liability
13-21-108.4. Persons rendering emergency assistance from a locked vehicle - exempt from criminal and civil liability - definitions
13-21-108.5. Persons rendering assistance relating to discharges of hazardous materials - legislative declaration - exemption from civil liability
13-21-108.7. Persons rendering emergency assistance through the administration of an opiate antagonist - limited immunity - legislative declaration - definitions
13-21-109. Recovery of damages for checks, drafts, or orders not paid upon presentment
13-21-109.5. Recovery of damages for fraudulent use of social security numbers
13-21-110. Medical committee - privileged communication - limitation on liability
13-21-111. Negligence cases - comparative negligence as measure of damages
13-21-111.5. Civil liability cases - pro rata liability of defendants - shifting financial responsibility for negligence in construction agreements - legislative declaration
13-21-111.6. Civil actions - reduction of damages for payment from collateral source
13-21-111.7. Assumption of risk - consideration by trier of fact
13-21-111.8. Assumption of risk - shooting ranges
13-21-112. Ad damnum clauses in professional liability actions
13-21-113. Donation of items of food - exemption from civil and criminal liability - definitions
13-21-113.3. Donation of firefighting equipment - exemption from civil and criminal liability - definitions - legislative declaration
13-21-113.5. Use of school or nonprofit organization kitchen - exemption from civil and criminal liability
13-21-113.7. Immunity of volunteer firefighters, volunteers, incident management teams, and their employers or organizations - definitions - legislative declaration
13-21-114. Immunity of mine rescue participants and their employers or organizations
13-21-115. Actions against landowners
13-21-115.5. Volunteer service act - immunity - exception for operation of motor vehicles - short title - legislative declaration - definitions
13-21-115.6. Immunity from civil liability for school crossing guards and sponsors
13-21-115.7. Immunity from civil liability for directors, officers, or trustees - nonprofit corporations or nonprofit organizations
13-21-116. Actions not constituting an assumption of duty - board member immunity - immunity for volunteers assisting organizations for young persons
13-21-117. Civil liability - mental health providers - duty to warn - definitions
13-21-117.5. Civil liability - intellectual and developmental disability service providers - definitions
13-21-117.7. Civil actions against family foster care providers - limited liability
13-21-118. Actions based on flight in aircraft
13-21-119. Equine activities - llama activities - legislative declaration - exemption from civil liability13-21-119. Equine activities - llama activities - legislative declaration - exemption from civil liability
13-21-120. Colorado baseball spectator safety act - legislative declaration - limitation on actions - duty to post warning notice
13-21-121. Agricultural recreation or agritourism activities - legislative declaration - inherent risks - limitation of civil liability - duty to postwarning notice - definitions
13-21-122. Civil liability for unlawful use of personal identifying information
13-21-122.5. Civil liability for trading in telephone records
13-21-123. Civil liability for newspaper theft. (Repealed)
13-21-124. Civil actions against dog owners
13-21-125. Civil actions for theft in the mortgage lending process
13-21-126. Funeral picketing - legislative declaration - definitions - damages
13-21-127. Civil damages for human trafficking and involuntary servitude
13-21-128. Civil liability for destruction or unlawful seizure of recordings by a law enforcement officer - definitions
13-21-129. Snow removal service liability limitation - exceptions - short title - definitions
13-21-130. Civil liability for false statement to recover possession of real property
13-21-131. Civil action for deprivation of rights
13-21-132. Civil liability for misuse of gametes - definitions