BGBC Lawsuit

Judge’s Decision

I just got off the phone with my attorney, Linda Williams. 

WE WON!!!     Every single claim of defamation was dismissed, Hannah’s, Meaghan’s, and mine  – even the one about the sex offender that seemed to be a sticky point with the media.  I’m having a hard time typing this and don’t even know if I’m using the right words, but WE WON!!

All statements “not defamatory” and so never got to “malice.” 

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and support.   I haven’t read any of the documentation that my attorney sent, but want to get this posted right now.  I’ll add more details as I read more.

Praise God!!!

This is the judge’s opinion about the sex abuse phrases.  I’m sure people will be interested in this:

And here’s the scoop, baby.  The whole scoop right here in two sweet paragraphs:


134 thoughts on “Judge’s Decision”

  1. Red – You did not read my post ..even if she lies. I will go a bit slower here.I do not know whether JA was lying or telling the truth about the lack of safeguards. I have never visited the church and I do not know JA.JA admits, and is part of her defense, that she was stating an opinion about the nursery's adequacy of safe guards. Her knowledge of the nursery was and is insufficient to write a truthful statement. For all that I know, and most people on this blog, the church had safeguards in place that would put Ft. Knox to shame. If you read her post you would think she was an insider and knew factually that the safeguards were inadequate and that the pastor was grossly indifferent in his duty. JA does not know or if she knows she could not possibly prove it. If you write something as a fact and you know that you do not have factual basis and cannot prove your words then the statement is untrue. Frankly, JA had to admit the words were merely opinion and therefore not true. The words were written to convince people to not attend the church. Why would anyone write an unfactual opinion that is so damning? Remember that she continued to write in this manner for 3 years. Now the judge is saying that a reasonably intelligent person would see right through JA's post as a non-credible source and would simply dismiss her. He is correct in his ruling and perhaps a warning for those that take internet posts too seriously. So tell me…are JA's words true or false with regard to the nursery? She told the judge that they were opinion so that pretty much rules out truth. Still Quacking


  2. Actually if you really read what the judge wrote in regards to that allegation you would see that he is not dismissing what she wrote as false it is more that her comments were not written in a tone that she was making factual accusations. "Defandant's statements argue plaintiff did not appreciate the risk or appropriately evaluate the dangerousness of others…"Meaning that JA could not have known if the pastor had simply disregarded the danger of leaving said person unsupervised, could not have known if the pastor had some method of oversight that was not present at the times she witnessed that person being there unsupervised(Maybe he had someone to watch that person and they decided to step out to use the restroom, etc)Therefore since she was not directly involved in supervising the nursery or how the nursery is managed she can not possibly be aware of any rules or oversight that were supposed to be in place.He even closes it with the following: "Consequently, whether or not "sufficient safeguards [were] in place" is defendant Julie Ann Smith's opinion."That is the basis for him ruling in favor of dismissal because it is completely possible that it was a FACT that she witnessed the person in question in the nursery unsupervised. It was just not possible for her to know if the pastor had intentionally disregarded the danger or there was some form of oversight that had not be present at the time she witnessed these events.She did not allege that he was a sex offender, and she did not allege that he intentionally left that offender in there to cause harm which would have fallen under the defamation definition because those would have been false and malicious accusations.An example of a factual allegation would have been if she had left a comment saying that the pastor left said person unsupervised in the nursery in order to cause harm to the children intentionally. That could be considered defamatory.Just because its an opinion doesn't mean its false either. I could say: "I think it is dangerous for a drunk person to drive a car full of children home on a windy mountain road"That statement is an opinion but i'm sure most people would agree that it is also true.


  3. …right Everyone agrees that her statement is baseless and therefore not true. She even admits that her statement is baseless. Had she said that it was true the judge would have had to find another way to find in her favor.She admitted that she did not have first hand knowledge. However, if you were to say "he was drunk and hauling a car load of kids." Now you are writing a statement of fact as she did. The judge is saying that a reasonable person can discern the truthiness of that statement. She kept this up for 3 years… seems a little over the top. buyer beware


  4. Just wanted to say Congratulations, and thanks. Thanks for being brave enough to stand up and speak out. I hope that others will be blessed – and maybe even protected – because of you.


  5. I haven't really thought much about that, but that is such a good point. YES!! I sure hope this case does prevent other ridiculous lawsuits by pastors. Wow – my brain just got excited 🙂 My air mattress died a slow death last night, so I'm a little slow – lol.


  6. The attorneys' fees are Chuck's own doing. He pursued a lawsuit against plenty of wise counsel and, I might add, common sense and good judgment, and has now cost his church mightily. For shame.


  7. Agree with Meaghan. The craziness will most likely not stop, sadly. Shame on you for being so contentious, Meaghan. You are the only one in the church who reached out to Hannah after she left. Yea, that's the kind of person you are. Love you, friend.note: sarcasm in this comment, just so ya know


  8. Her statement about the sex offender in the nursery was based on her personal observation. That part is true. The statement that the pastor allowed that to happen without safeguards is her opinion based on a true fact. That is not a lie. And there is corroborating evidence from the mother of the sex offender that the sex offender had been identified to the pastor months before any report was made or the people of the church were informed.


  9. In my court document, I refer to ONE time that I saw the sex offender in the nursery. I can recall 3 such incidences where he was without supervision. Keep in mind, I was not aware that he was a sex offender at that time, but I remember one time in particular there were several people asking around if anyone had seen him. He was around 15-yrs old then, I believe. What dawned on me at the time was the intensity and effort they were taking to find this kid. In my mind was "what's the big deal, he's 15?". It wasn't like he was a 2-yr old who might run out into a street. They were pretty frantic – not casually looking for him. They later found him at the playground. Now all of that alarm makes perfect sense to me. I'm not sure who that anonymous person is above, but the statements I made were absolutely true as I knew. He was in the nursery with me. No other adult was present.


  10. Anon says: I have no disrespect for the judge and I do not know how he could pointed out that she has a right to her opinion even if she lies.Bottom line is I did not lie. But also what you need to understand is the meaning of defamation. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that I intentionally lied (I did not), and my words showed intent to harm (malice). That also cannot be proven. They could not prove that I intentionally lied (first level), so they didn't even need to look at the second level (malice). Bottom line, this case was thrown out very early on. My words were clearly not defamatory.


  11. Thank you, Cindy. Your site has been a world of help to me. Thank you for what you do in helping to educate others on spiritual abuse!~Julie Anne


  12. This is excellent news, Julie Anne! No one should be bullied into silence for expressing an opinion and sharing their personal stories. So happy for you! This definitely helps pave the way for more freedom for those leaving toxic churches.


  13. Julie Anne and all, Congratulation! Think this is my first "non-anonymous" post. I've been praying for you since the beginning of this non-sense and have been anonymously trying to encourage you through occasional comments on your blog. I will now continue to pray for healing for everyone involved and that this is finally put to rest.


  14. Congratulations, Julie Anne and welcome to the club! That is, the club of bloggers who have stood up and won against these bullying pastor who've tried to silence us.I'm known on YouTube as "NotYourTypicalNegro", where my blogging is dedicated to combatting spiritual abuse and defending the integrity of the authentic Christian faith. For 5 years have withstood assault upon assault on my YouTube channel, personal attacks, and even DEATH THREATS, for simply disagreeing with so-called men and women "of God", examining what they say and do publicly, or telling the truth about my own experiences. As you may know, I successfully sued YouTube, LLC a few months and got my channel restored after Creflo Dollar Ministries had it TERMINATED. As far as I know, I'm the only person who's ever done that.It is very encouraging to hear this news and to know that there are others out there willing to stand for Christ, the integrity of His church, and on behalf of others. Whatever I can do to support or assist, you let me know. I know God's got your back, but just in case He wants to take a break, I got it too!Respectfully,Kevin M. OliverYouTube's 'NotYourTypicalNegro'Contributor, and Church Folk Revolution Radio


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