Bookmark and Share

 

LITIGATION

» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights


Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment

SUPREME COURT
ASSISTANCE PROJECT

Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.

 


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

Prestigious Pets LLC v Michelle and Robert Duchouquette (Dallas County Court at Law and District Court)

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Miscellaneous

Documents:

Related Press Releases:

Description:

A Dallas pet-sitting company brought a small claims  proceeding against a couple in Plano, Texas, after one of them posted a somewhat critical review of the company’s policies on Yelp, alleging both that the review was defamatory and that the posting violated the non-disparagement clause in the standard contract that the poster’s husband had signed.  After the lawsuit received broad coverage in the media, and the couple filed an anti-SLAPP motion, the company dismissed its small-claims proceeding and sued in state district court alleging that the broader attention that had been brought to the controversy had hurt the company’s business, warranting an award of up to a million dollars in damages as well as an award or attorney fees.  Public Citizen then entered the case on behalf of the reviewer and her husband, filing both an appeal from the implicit denial of the anti-SLAPP motion in small-claims court, and a new anti-SLAPP motion in the Texas district court. The trial court dismissed both the libel claim and the non-disparagement clause claim with prejudice, and held that the Duchouquettes would be awarded their reasonable attorney fees as well as sanctions to deter future such lawsuits.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.