Shamblin v. Martinez

UPDATE (4/20/2011)

STATUS: Judgment granting defendant's motion for summary judgment was affirmed on April 13, 2011

Tenn. App.: Cult Accusations Lacked Malice, Court Affirms

Courthouse News Service
A Christian weight-loss guru failed to prove that she was defamed by a critic who accused her on the Internet of running a cult, a Tennessee appeals court ruled. Gwen Shamblin, leader of the Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, Tenn., sued Rafael Martinez after he made an allegedly defamatory comment about her on the website. . . "We have reviewed the record in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs and have determined that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence upon which a trier of fact could find actual malice," Judge Richard Dinkins wrote on behalf of the appeals court.

--Opinion: Shamblin v. Martinez

See also:

Shamblin v. Anonymous Blogger, No. 06648 (Tenn. Dist. Ct., Williamson County filed Nov. 6, 2006).

Gwen Shamblin and 78 members of the Remnant Fellowship Church that she leads sued an anonymous blogger, and Rafael Martinez, who operates the web site, for statements labeling the church as a cult and saying that it advocates starvation and torture of children. In April 2007, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the suit.

Links and Court Documents: Complaint:
Defendant’s motion to dismiss:
Plaintiff’s notice of voluntary dismissal:
Spirit Watch statements on the suit:

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