MN Supreme Court Construes anti-SLAPP Law

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: MN anti-SLAPP law, Minn. Stat. 554.

Lawrence Leiendecker, et al., v. Asian Women United of Minnesota. MN anti-SLAPP law

This case construes Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP statutes, Minn. Stat. chapter 554, a statute designed to protect citizens and organizations from lawsuits for exercising their right to participate in government. When a motion to dismiss is brought under the anti-SLAPP law, the party responding to the motion generally bears the burden of proof to show that the case should go forward.

The plaintiffs in this case argued that application of the statute to their case would result in a denial of their right to jury trial, and must be applied in a manner that reserves the right to have the case heard by a jury.

For this reason, the high court concluded that the anti-SLAPP statute requires the responding party to produce evidence to defeat the motion to dismiss. The district court must make a finding regarding whether the responding party has met its burden to show by clear and convincing evidence that the acts of the moving party are not immune.

Nos. A12-1978 and A12-2015 (Minn. June 25, 2014).

For motion on rehearing, see Order of Sept. 3, 2014and order on motion for attorney fees.

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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