Beaverton Grace Bible Church loses in lawsuit against former church members

Jul 31, 12

Following up on our previous blog post, “Church Sues Ex-Members for Defamation on Blog”, it appears a decision has been reached in that case.

“A Washington County judge has dismissed a Beaverton church’s libel lawsuit against a former congregant who blogged about her experience there.

The Beaverton Grace Bible Church and its pastor, Charles O’Neal, sought $500,000 in damages in their suit against former church members Julie Anne Smith, her daughter, Hannah Smith, and Meaghan Varela.

The church claimed the women had defamed it and O’Neal in Google reviews and Julie Anne Smith’s blog about the church.

Their attorney, Linda K. Williams, said the church practices “Old Testament shunning” and her clients were all eventually ostracized by the church. Their negative comments, which they published online, were protected free speech, she said.

Circuit Judge Jim Fun announced his decision in a letter he mailed to the parties Monday.

Fun granted the defendants’ special motions to strike and ordered the plaintiffs to pay their costs and attorney fees.”

Read the full post here: http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2012/07/beaverton_grace_bible_church_l.html

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