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Colorado man wins 3rd time in retaliatory speech lawsuit

July 26, 2019

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A court has rejected a third attempt by a Texas energy firm to punish an environmental activist for exercising his free speech rights.

The Daily Sentinel reports that a three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals denied a petition by SGI Interests to have the full court consider the complaint against Paonia resident Pete Kolbenschlag.

SGI sued Kolbenschlag for libel in 2017 after he posted comments about its activities on public lands on the website of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

In June, the appeals panel upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the complaint as frivolous.

On Thursday, it denied SGI’s bid to have the full court rehear the case. It also published its previously unpublished June ruling to add to legal precedent.

The case helped lead to a Colorado law to protect citizens from lawsuits intended to stifle their First Amendment rights.

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Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com

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