Walled in: Ex-husband must post Facebook apology or go to jail

By February 24, 2012Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Friday, February 24, 2012

Imagine you’re so upset by your impending divorce and all of its difficult child custody disputes that you go on Facebook and write a scathing tirade against your soon-to-be ex. No one but your friends and family, in St. Louis and around the country, will see it, right?
That’s the kind of thinking that has an Ohio man facing a very interesting predicament. A Hamilton County judge has given the man a choice: Either go to jail or post an apology to his wife and Facebook friends. One Cincinnati attorney well-versed in the case and free speech rights said the court order is “a First Amendment issue,” saying he doubts it’s appropriate for the judge to order someone to issue an apology.
The husband in the case had a baby with his wife back in July of 2010, but their marriage quickly soured. She says he’s been verbally abusive, threatening her with his fists and warning her that he would “end” her life. The husband “was exonerated of criminal allegations,” USA Today reports, but nevertheless, the court granted his wife a protection order to keep him away from her. The man says the court is also preventing him from seeing his young son. So late last year, he took to Facebook and blasted away: “… if you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely — all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner… ” Though he had blocked his wife from seeing the page, she learned of the post and argued that it violated the protective order which stated that he couldn’t cause her to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.”
Now the husband must post an apology or spend some time behind bars — or make a persuasive argument that he be compelled to do neither one. We’ll see how it turns out. Source: USA Today: “Ex-husband gets choice of jail or a Facebook apology,” Kimball Perry, Feb. 23, 2012