Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions
5/23/2024

§ 8.01-223.2. Immunity of persons for statements made at public hearing or communicated to third party.

A. A person shall be immune from tort liability if the tort claim is based solely on statements (i) regarding matters of public concern that would be protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States made by that person that are communicated to a third party, (ii) made at a public hearing before, or otherwise communicated to, the governing body of any locality or other political subdivision, or the boards, commissions, agencies and authorities thereof, and other governing bodies of any local governmental entity concerning matters properly before such body, or (iii) made by an employee against an employer where retaliatory action arising from such statements is prohibited by § 40.1-27.3.

B. The immunity provided by this section shall not apply to any statements that the declarant knew or should have known were false or were made with reckless disregard for whether they were false.

C. Any person who has a suit against him dismissed or a witness subpoena or subpoena duces tecum quashed, or otherwise prevails in a legal action, pursuant to the immunity provided by this section may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.

2007, c. 798; 2016, c. 239; 2017, cc. 586, 597; 2020, c. 824; 2023, cc. 462, 463.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.