FAC Condemns Speech-Chilling Tactics of Cypress City Hall

Read FAC’s July 28, 2022, Letter to City Official Over Speech-Chilling Threat

The First Amendment Coalition is urging the Southern California city of Cypress to respect the First Amendment rights of residents and refrain from chilling their speech with unfounded threats of litigation. FAC Legal Director David Loy sent a letter to Cypress City Attorney Fred Galante after he told Katie Shapiro, a local woman, that her social media post about city business was “potentially libelous” and suggested she remove it, which she did (read news coverage). “Critique of government is democracy, not defamation,” Loy wrote to the city. If the city wished to dispute a community member’s claims, Loy wrote, it is free to do so, “but the implicit threat of liability for defamation crossed the line from dialogue to intimidation, even if unintentionally.” 

“On behalf of FAC, I ask the City of Cypress to honor the First Amendment by refraining from making or implying any such threat in the future,” the letter urges. 

Read the letter.

More: FAC calls on the Cypress City Council to end unconstitutional public comment policy.