Find Out Why Former Director Alleges Claims of Defamation, Malicious Prosecution, and Conspiracy

This case arose from a dispute at an HOA meeting between a former board member and officer of the HOA (“Plaintiff”), and two current board members (“Defendants”). Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants alleging claims for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, negligence, gross negligence, and conspiracy. In the suit, the Plaintiff alleged that because of “a bitter HOA dispute,” Defendants conspired to remove her from the HOA board by accusing her of committing a felony, which would disqualify her from serving on the board, and by causing her to “lose favor” of the residents of the HOA.

Defendants denied the claims and moved to dismiss the action under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”) asserting that Plaintiff’s claims were based on or in response to Defendants’ exercise of their right of free speech, right to petition, and right of association. In response, the Plaintiff argued that the alleged “illegal act” of filing a false police report and lying about a non-existent assault was not protected as free speech, and that even if it was, she had met her burden of proof for each of the claims that she alleged against the defendants. The trial court denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Plaintiff’s claims. Defendants appealed the trial court’s ruling.

The TCPA is commonly known as the “Texas Anti-SLAPP” statute (“SLAPP” is an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”). The purpose of the statute is

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