Defending Our Rights Under the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute
Landry's, Inc v Animal Legal Defense fund, et al.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund was sued by Laundry’s after making public comments that discussed the Aquarium’s mistreatment of four captive white tigers and asserted that such treatment violated the Endangered Species Act.
Laundry's appeal to Texas Supreme Court
Laundry's appeal brief to Texas Supreme Court
Due September 30, 2019
In 2017, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a motion asking a Texas judge to dismiss a lawsuit claiming we and others defamed the owner of the Downtown Houston Aquarium merely based on our public comments and statutorily required notice of intent to sue letter that discussed the Aquarium’s mistreatment of four captive white tigers and asserted that such treatment violated the Endangered Species Act.
The lawsuit claimed we defamed Landry’s and the Houston Downtown Aquarium by publicly commenting on their long-controversial mistreatment of four white tigers, Nero, Marina, Coral and Reef — who’ve never had adequate access to sunlight, fresh air, or natural surfaces, and had been housed indoors at the Downtown Aquarium and restaurant for 12 years.
The motion was filed under the Texas Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute. This law allows judges to dismiss meritless lawsuits filed against those who speak out about a “matter of public concern.”
The Texas trial court granted our motion and the lawsuit was dismissed in February 2017. The judge also awarded over $170,000 in attorneys’ fees and $450,000 in sanctions against Landry’s in order to discourage the filing of future SLAPP suits designed to suppress free speech.
That decision was affirmed by the Texas Court of Appeals in October 2018, which also suggested the amount of sanctions awarded to the Animal Legal Defense Fund should be slightly reduced.
U.S. District Court has ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund following its lawsuit to vacate rules imposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2019 under the Trump administration that weakened the Endangered Species Act (ESA).July 8, 2022 Press Release
Reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for illegally shooting and killing a red wolf in Tyrrell County, North Carolina.May 24, 2022 Press Release
After Images of Employee’s Injury from Animal Attack Surface – OSHA Complaint Filed Against Texas Wild Animal Dealer and Roadside Zoo OwnerGraphic images of wound are posted on Tik-Tok by an employee of Gator Park — a facility owned and operated by Jason Clay.April 7, 2022 Press Release
Cheryl Conley v Houston Aquarium, Inc.
Animal Legal Defense Fund v Tom and Pamela Sellner
Cathy Breaux, et al. V. Samuel B. Haynes, Jr., et al.