Couple in divorce ordered to stop posting about each other on Facebook
April 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Sounds crazy right? Well that is exactly what happened in a Georgia case. James Lacy and Emily Lacy were tied up in a contentious divorce and custody battle. The fight poured over into Facebook. According to James, his wife posted the following on Facebook:
[J]udge [P]arrott and my dad ha[d] a meeting the week before our case and guess what you lost your kids.
Ouch! Lets clarify a few things here. First, it is never a good idea to speak with the judge about your case outside the courtroom. Second, it is never good to have your father speak to the judge about your case outside the courtroom. Third, it is never a good idea for a judge to discuss a pending case with the father of a party outside the courtroom. Forth, if you, your father or the judge do these things, it is never a good idea to post about it on Facebook! I don’t know if those contacts actually occurred. If they did, the wife and judge may have other issues on down the road.
The judge obviously didn’t care for the litigants’ social media bickering and entered an order that:
restrained and enjoined [the parties] from posting matters about each other or their current litigation on Facebook or other social networking sites.
Rather than sit back an enjoy the peaceful quit of the restraining order, the father appealed on First Amendment grounds. The Georgia Court of Appeals made short work of the father’s argument. On page 26 of the opinion the Court found “a trial court can require the parties in a divorce proceeding to refrain from making derogatory remarks about the other before the children” and that there was no error in the social media restriction placed on the parties.
These folks could have saved a ton of money if they would have just followed suggestion eight from 40….make that 41 things NOT to do during your divorce. Don’t post stupid crap to Facebook or any other social media site.
Everyone should know this common sense suggestion, but thanks to the Lacys we now have a reported decision to remind us and our clients.