Key point 4-02.02. Ministers are considered “public figures” and as a result they cannot be defamed unless the person making an otherwise defamatory remark did so with malice. In this context, malice means that the person making the defamatory remark either had actual knowledge that it was false or made it with a reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity.
A federal court in Colorado refused to issue a restraining order barring a former parishioner from making disparaging comments about a pastor and his two sons on the internet.
Injunction sought against former parishioner for defamation
A pastor and his two sons (the plaintiffs) claimed that a former parishioner (the defendant) had been defaming them on the internet. The plaintiffs asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendant from “posting or disseminating any further statements, comments ...