Grenier v. Taylor, No. F067263 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 18, 2015).
Pastor Bob Grenier leads the Calvary Chapel Church in Visalia, California. Pastor Bob’s estranged son Alex Grenier runs a website that claims that Pastor Bob is a child abuser, a drug dealer, and a thief. Tim Taylor, a former church member, has used that website to accuse Pastor Bob of child molestation and tax evasion.
Pastor Bob sued Alex and Tim for defamation. Alex and Tim then filed a motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which, if granted, allows for early dismissal and an award of attorneys’ fees. The trial court denied the motion. The California Court of Appeal affirms, holding that Bob isn’t a public figure (a holding that makes it easier for Bob to recover for defamation) and that he’s made out a prima facie showing that he’ll probably prevail on his claims.