Today California Superior Court Judge Paul Anthony Vortmann laid out the law in a ruling, and it’s blogger 1, pastor 0.
The court finds that Defendants’ Web activities are protected under CCP 425.16(e)(3) and finds that Plaintiff Bob Grenier is a Limited Purpose Public Figure. The hearing on this motion is continued to April 9, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 7 on the issue of malice pursuant to the stipulation of the parties submitted on January 15, 2013.
The objections to evidence submitted by the parties will be determined prior to the continued hearing.
In this action it is not that Plaintiff was part of the debate on the limited issue of abuse by the clergy, but that he does assert that he is a leader of his church. Allegations of conduct which would violate the trust his church members and members of the public place in him as a church leader are matters of public discussion or controversy.
The lawyers will be in court to argue their positions on the ruling tomorrow.