Sanctions and Attorney's Fees in SLAPP Cases
If you win your anti-SLAPP motion, the court might sanction the other party. The court must also make the other party pay your attorneys' fees and court costs.
Attorney’s fees qualify if they are reasonable. A court might use the following factors, among others, to decide if fees are reasonable:
- How complex is the case?
- How much time did the case and trial require?
- How skilled does a lawyer have to be for this type of case?
- What services did the lawyer provide?
Yes, if you file the Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss in bad faith. If a court thinks your motion is frivolous or only meant to waste time, the court can choose to make you pay the other side’s attorney’s fees and court costs.
The big difference is that the court has the choice of whether or not to make you pay attorney’s fees. It is not mandatory just because you lose your Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss. (If you win your motion, the other side must pay your attorney’s fees and court costs.)
It is very important to fully consider whether or not your case qualifies as a true SLAPP case before filing an Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss.
Here, sanctions are money that a court makes someone pay to discourage similar lawsuits in the future. The court will set the amount. Ideally, the amount would be enough to stop the nonmovant from bringing similar bad-faith lawsuits in the future.
Note: If you win an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss in a suit filed on or after September 1, 2019, the court does not have to order sanctions. But it may do so.