Last fall, we reported that frequent Calvary Chapel critic Alex Grenier--son of Bob Grenier, pastor at Calvary Chapel Visalia--was being sued by his father for libel and defamation. Alex has long maintained on his blog that his father physically abused him, as well as other explosive claims, ones Bob finally found too much.
Alex made a public plea on his blog for legal help, and he got it in a big way in the form of the California Anti-SLAPP Project, the angels who helped to create the state's legendary Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) law, which intimidates public figures from suing critics just because they can. That's the stance Alex is taking against his dad: that Bob is suing solely to shut him up.
The motion to dismiss was filed late last year in Tulare County, and a judge is expected to rule on the motion soon. Alex and a fellow co-defendant are paying for some of the costs right now, but the interesting thing about successful anti-SLAPP motions is not only that do lawsuits get dismissed in the favor of the defendant, but also that the plaintiff must pay all attorney's fees and court costs.
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"Clearly," the motion reads, "church corruption, domestic abuse and child sexual abuse, which are the subjects of the defendants' actual and alleged statements, are issue of public interest. Because the defendants' alleged statements were made in a public forum about issues of public interest, they are protected."
Stay tuned . . .