A Cincinnati judge ordered a man to make daily apologies to his estranged wife on Facebook after the man posted about how she keeps him from seeing his children, resulting in “probably the most glaring example I’ve seen in recent times of abuse of orders of protection,” according to Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell.
The judge ruled that Mark Byron violated his restraining order by posting a status update on his Facebook page calling his wife an “evil, vindictive woman.” His wife found out about the post, complained to the judge, and the judge ordered Mark to apologize or face 60 days in jail.
Privacy and free speech advocates have assailed the ruling, but Cordell told Lawyers.com that an overlooked issue at play here is the fact that restraining orders are biased, overused, and too easy to obtain against men.
“Every day in courtrooms across America, orders are being issued with very vague allegations, and nothing remotely approaching actual physical abuse,” Cordell told Lawyers.com. And the consequences are deep. “It literally sinks the man’s ship in terms of primary custody in many states. When you place the stakes this high, mere allegation is enough.”
Since an order of protection is written in a way that is much broader than needed, thus leaving wide discretionary latitude for a judge, the result is something that comes out of this bizarre Facebook case, according to Cordell.
“A guy making a statement to a third party, not suggesting or implying any physical harm, but because a judge sees it as harassment or emotional abuse, the court feels it’s in the parameters of a violation of an order of protection,” Cordell said.
Read the full article: “Judge Orders Divorcing Husband To Apologize on Facebook“