Christopher Boyer and Patrick Singson v. Health Grades, Inc., 2015CO40 (June 1, 2015)

Can you sue someone for suing you without violating the First Amendment’s right to petition the government? Yes, in purely private disputes. Imagine you are a former employee and you do something your former employer does not like, as happened to defendants here. Your former employer (plaintiff) sues you. You then want to sue your former employer for suing you claiming abuse of process or tortious interference. Your former employer defends by claiming that its right to sue (petition using the courts) is protected by the First Amendment. Your former employer would be wrong in Colorado. The Court held that First Amendment protections from suits related to matters of public interest (as provided in the POME case) do not extend to purely private disputes. The Court came to the same conclusion in the arbitration context in General Steel, which it extended to this case.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2013/13SC131.pdf

 

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