Defendants, the deacons, pastor, and clerk of the Gallatin Baptist Church, published to the church membership a letter to the plaintiff, an ordained minister of the Baptist Church, and a member of the Gallatin Church, requiring him to report and show cause why the hand of fellowship should not be withdrawn from him because of heresy. The plaintiff's complaint for libel set out the letter published, but a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action was sustained by the circuit court on the grounds that there was no allegation of special damages to the plaintiff. On appeal, held, affirmed. In the absence of an allegation of some special loss or injury, the charge of "heresy" in a church disciplinary proceeding is not libelous and actionable per se. Creekmore v. Runnels, et al., 359 Mo. 1020, 224 S.W. (2d) 1007 (1949).
John J. Gaskell S.Ed.,
LIBEL AND SLANDER-NECESSITY FOR ALLEGATION OF SPECIAL DAMAGES FOR DEFAMATION NOT SHOWN LIBELOUS PER SE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol49/iss1/19