Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions

§ 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 civil liability for a violation of § 18.2-499, a claim of tortious interference with an existing contract or a business or contractual expectancy, or a claim of defamation based solely on statements (i) regarding matters of public concern that would be protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution made by that person that are communicated to a third party or (ii) made at a public hearing before 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. The immunity provided by this section shall not apply to any statements made with actual or constructive knowledge that they are false or with reckless disregard for whether they are false.

B. Any person who has a suit against him dismissed or a witness subpoena or subpoena duces tecum quashed 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.

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.