New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Rights Law - CVR § 70-a. Actions involving public petition and participation;  recovery of damages

1. A defendant in an action involving public petition and participation, as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section seventy-six-a of this article, may maintain an action, claim, cross claim or counterclaim to recover damages, including costs and attorney's fees, from any person who commenced or continued such action;  provided that:

(a) costs and attorney's fees may be recovered upon a demonstration that the action involving public petition and participation was commenced or continued without a substantial basis in fact and law and could not be supported by a substantial argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law;

(b) other compensatory damages may only be recovered upon an additional demonstration that the action involving public petition and participation was commenced or continued for the purpose of harassing, intimidating, punishing or otherwise maliciously inhibiting the free exercise of speech, petition or association rights;  and

(c) punitive damages may only be recovered upon an additional demonstration that the action involving public petition and participation was commenced or continued for the sole purpose of harassing, intimidating, punishing or otherwise maliciously inhibiting the free exercise of speech, petition or association rights.

2. The right to bring an action under this section can be waived only if it is waived specifically.

3. Nothing in this section shall affect or preclude the right of any party to any recovery otherwise authorized by common law, or by statute, law or rule.


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