Editorial: Missouri high court OKs harassment of priest victims group

In the law there's something called a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation." They're filed by a powerful individuals or organization who want to shut up their critics by burying them in legal fees and hassles.

Efforts by lawyers for Catholic priests in St. Louis and Kansas City to drag officers of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests into damage lawsuits brought by purported abuse victims are not exactly SLAPP suits. They're worse.

SNAP and its officers, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, are not parties to the lawsuits. But because their organization provided counseling to the anonymous plaintiffs, lawyers for the priests want to go fishing through decades of SNAP records.

Incredibly, in the Kansas City case, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle last yearapproved this Ahab-like expedition.

Even more incredibly, on Tuesday of this week the Missouri Supreme Court refused to block Judge Mesle's order. Many states have strong anti-SLAPP laws, but Missouri's law is narrowly drawn. The court's ruling this week effectively gave car...

 

Read the whole story here...

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