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Joe Cordell Discusses With Lawyers.com Judge’s Bizarre Ruling In Facebook Case

 

facebook2A 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

Same-sex partner denied shared child custody

The former partner in a lesbian relationship was denied partial child custody of a daughter that she helped raise and financially support, according to multiple reports.

In a 4 to 3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that Michelle Hobbs of Cincinnati was not legally eligible to share custody of the now 5-year-old girl. The court ruled that Kelly Mullen, the girl’s biological mother, did not agree to share legal custody of the child, despite planning the in-vitro pregnancy with Hobbs and naming her as “co-parent” in power-of-attorney documents.

Mullen reportedly voided those documents after she and her child moved out of the home they shared with Hobbs in 2007. In the court’s majority opinion, Justice Robert Cupp said that “co-parenting” can have many different meanings and suggested that same-sex couple’s may want to draft a written contract regarding custody rights in order to protect their interests.

“Co-parenting can have many different meanings and can refer to many different arrangements and degrees of permanency,” he wrote.

Some experts say that the legalization of gay marriage in several states may lead to more court cases regarding child custody among couples that divorce. The issue has particularly come to light after New York legalized same sex marriage last month, the largest state in the U.S. to do so.