Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code - CIV PRAC & REM § 27.001. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) “Communication” includes the making or submitting of a statement or document in any form or medium, including oral, visual, written, audiovisual, or electronic.

(2) “Exercise of the right of association” means to join together to collectively express, promote, pursue, or defend common interests relating to a governmental proceeding or a matter of public concern.

(3) “Exercise of the right of free speech” means a communication made in connection with a matter of public concern.

(4) “Exercise of the right to petition” means any of the following:

(A) a communication in or pertaining to:

(i) a judicial proceeding;

(ii) an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to administer the law;

(iii) an executive or other proceeding before a department of the state or federal government or a subdivision of the state or federal government;

(iv) a legislative proceeding, including a proceeding of a legislative committee;

(v) a proceeding before an entity that requires by rule that public notice be given before proceedings of that entity;

(vi) a proceeding in or before a managing board of an educational or eleemosynary institution supported directly or indirectly from public revenue;

(vii) a proceeding of the governing body of any political subdivision of this state;

(viii) a report of or debate and statements made in a proceeding described by Subparagraph (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii);  or

(ix) a public meeting dealing with a public purpose, including statements and discussions at the meeting or other matters of public concern occurring at the meeting;

(B) a communication in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(C) a communication that is reasonably likely to encourage consideration or review of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(D) a communication reasonably likely to enlist public participation in an effort to effect consideration of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;  and

(E) any other communication that falls within the protection of the right to petition government under the Constitution of the United States or the constitution of this state.

(5) “Governmental proceeding” means a proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, by an officer, official, or body of this state or a political subdivision of this state, including a board or commission, or by an officer, official, or body of the federal government.

(6) “Legal action” means a lawsuit, cause of action, petition, complaint, cross-claim, or counterclaim or any other judicial pleading or filing that requests legal, declaratory, or equitable relief.  The term does not include:

(A) a procedural action taken or motion made in an action that does not amend or add a claim for legal, equitable, or declaratory relief;

(B) alternative dispute resolution proceedings;  or

(C) post-judgment enforcement actions.

(7) “Matter of public concernmeans a statement or activity regarding:

(A) a public official, public figure, or other person who has drawn substantial public attention due to the person's official acts, fame, notoriety, or celebrity;

(B) a matter of political, social, or other interest to the community;  or

(C) a subject of concern to the public.

(8) “Official proceeding” means any type of administrative, executive, legislative, or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant.

(9) “Public servant” means a person elected, selected, appointed, employed, or otherwise designated as one of the following, even if the person has not yet qualified for office or assumed the person's duties:

(A) an officer, employee, or agent of government;

(B) a juror;

(C) an arbitrator, referee, or other person who is authorized by law or private written agreement to hear or determine a cause or controversy;

(D) an attorney or notary public when participating in the performance of a governmental function;  or

(E) a person who is performing a governmental function under a claim of right but is not legally qualified to do so.


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