Church Sues Ex-Members for Defamation on Blog

May 29, 12

Thou shall not post bad reviews of your church online — unless you want to face the wrath of a vengeful lawsuit.

That’s what an Oregon pastor seems to be saying, as he’s filed a $500,000 defamation lawsuit against four former church members who badmouthed his church on a blog, Portland’s KGW-TV reports.

But the accused defamers are fighting back against Pastor Charles O’Neal’s lawsuit, with a special kind of legal action that asserts free speech under the First Amendment. Small businesses and nonprofits may want to take note of their strategy.

A lawyer for the ex-church members being sued has filed a special free-speech motion to try to get the suit dismissed, Portland’s KATU-TV reports.

That motion is likely what’s known as an “anti-SLAPP” motion — a way to dismiss an allegedly frivolous lawsuit, when that lawsuit attempts to silence free speech and expression.”

Read more from Reuters here:

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