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Apologize on facebook or go to jail?


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  #1  
February 24th, 2012, 07:49 PM
angelsailor288's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ohio man given choice of Facebook apology or jail - Yahoo! News

Quote:
Domestic Relations Magistrate Paul Meyers last month found Byron in contempt of a protective order because of his Facebook comments. Meyers said that Byron could avoid a 60-day jail sentence and a $500 fine by posting the apology — written by Meyers — to his wife and all of his Facebook friends and paying her attorney fees. The same apology must be posted every day no later than 9 a.m.
Is this a violation of his right to free speech? Should it be ok that he posted those comments in the first place?
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  #2  
February 24th, 2012, 10:31 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Should he have posted them? probably not... but he is an adult and he is allowed to make decisions for himself.


Now... there is the court order. I do think that what he did probably violates that and then he would be in the wrong.

There's probably a lot of back story to this that we aren't getting now, which led to the ruling.
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  #3  
February 24th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Personally, no, I don't think it violates his rights. I know such a situation could be a tricky one, but there are some situations when people try to use their own "rights" to overstep boundaries they aren't permitted to just to harm another (even if they aren't successful). Your rights end when they violate another person's.

His court order specifically says he can't do what he was attempting to do. Not being successful at your attempts doesn't nullify them. In this day and age, people have far more ways with which they can harass and annoy others. His court order does not say it has to be directly to her, in front of her, to her face, verbal, etc... What he typed, though he claims was out of frustration(which wasn't even true, because he DOES have twice-weekly visits allowed, he's apparently not taking them), still was an attempt to at the very least, annoy her, and was false at that. It's flat out a violation of his protective order.
When you do things that require orders to be issued on you, you can't get all butthurt and start screaming about your rights when it gets enforced. You lost the right to your "rights", the moment you stepped on another person's.(redundant as that may sound). Most people with protection orders aren't allowed to send letters to their victim(s), or their family. This, I find, is along the same lines.
He may not have any control over what others say, in response to his words, but you can still be held responsible if your words(especially false) cause others to act inappropriately. Not always on the same level as those acting, but you can still be held responsible for your part.

Part of me is actually laughing about this, because not too many courts these days use less than typical punishments, and I think they should. There are a lot of courts in Ohio, that agree with me. In fact the county I grew up in has always gotten interesting press over it's, unique, way of enforcing the law and doling out punishments to criminals. Mostly smaller crimes, but not entirely. Sometimes it's tacked on to the probation, after time is served, too. I think sometimes the less common punishment strikes home a little harder. They're usually directly correlated with the crime committed. Not to mention they keep the jails free for much more serious crimes(and put less of a burden on the local economy and tax payers). I've seen them make drivers with poor driving history stand on the side of the road, with signs, explaining their crimes. I've seen the same type of people have to run car washes-and the money raised goes to cover the repairs for whatever damage that person caused(or worse, the car wash was free, that was an interesting day for those criminals). I've seen them make young adults walk around with a pig, on a leash, for comments made towards authority during proceedings(or during the arrest). I've seen part of people's probation include time they have to dedicate every week to various homes, centers, treatment places, hospitals, care houses and such-usually going hand in hand with whatever crime they committed. Men, and women, having to join up with local groups that visit local schools to teach kids about drugs, violence, bullying, all kinds of topics.
I think if more courts were a bit more creative with their punishments, at least in some cases, people would realize that pushing the boundaries and buttons isn't going to just get them a slap on the wrist. Or maybe they'll realize the actual impact of their actions. It's certainly not a cure-all, but it can go a long way to prevent at least some repeat offenders.

People who violate court orders get off scott free all too often. It drives me nuts. They push and push and push, and even when they DO go over that line, sometimes it's hard as hell to get heard when they DO violate it. I've been there, and it can be a pretty scary place to sit. I'd much rather see a court that actually takes steps when violations occur than one that continually ignores them, because they're "minor". Doesn't take much to make minor into something worse, or give another person the wrong idea and they make it worse for you. Definitely not unheard of these days for people to spazz out. The dude's been making the comments for a while, it wasn't just one comment, one time.
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  #4  
February 25th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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I believe the court was out of line, both in finding him in contempt, and forcing him to apologize. What if he had made the comments in a local bar instead of one facebook where there was evidence? It's the same thing to me. He didn't say it to her and he didn't threaten her.
The forced apology is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard of. What the heck is an apology going to do? He isn't really sorry, and he shouldn't be forced to say anything he doesn't want to say. I am actually embarrassed for this judge that he would even make such a ruling. I think it's absolutely ridiculous.
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  #5  
February 26th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Exactly what Leslie said. I couldn't form the words to say what I was thinking. But she nailed it for me.
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  #6  
February 26th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Ditto Leslie word for word!
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  #7  
February 27th, 2012, 05:37 PM
angelsailor288's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Agreed. How dare a judge tell someone what they MUST say on their facebook, or anywhere else 'personal/private'???
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  #8  
February 27th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Judges can tell you what you must NOT say, why shouldn't they tell you what you MUST say?
Apologies are put into sentences all the time. Making amends, if in your sentencing, usually involves some sort of apology to your victim(s) or their family(ies) as well.

I don't see this as much different.

If the dude didn't decide to use FB to harass and annoy her, and by his own actions give others cause to do the same, and make her fear for her own life(which wouldn't have happened, if he hadn't started that ball rolling)...he wouldn't be in the mess he's in now. Doesn't really have anyone but himself to blame. Gotta own up to your own actions at some point in your life.

But if he so strongly disagrees, he can always just go to jail. At least he was given an alternative option-one that cost him absolutely nothing at that. That's not all too common when you break a protection order. Usually, it's just jail time, or a hefty fine(sometimes both), no option B.
You can't claim privacy on a public fb page, lol. That's like trying to claim something is private after sharing it on an open forum. She can't see it because he has her blocked, but none of the dude's comments were private, at all. It was on the news here a few times, I've seen it in a couple papers too. Apparently it was an ongoing issue and he just wouldn't let up and was instigating others when people started threatening her.

If he wasn't acting like a dbag fool, he wouldn't be in trouble in the first place, and she wouldn't need an order of protection against him.
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  #9  
February 28th, 2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
Judges can tell you what you must NOT say, why shouldn't they tell you what you MUST say?
Apologies are put into sentences all the time. Making amends, if in your sentencing, usually involves some sort of apology to your victim(s) or their family(ies) as well.

I don't see this as much different.

If the dude didn't decide to use FB to harass and annoy her, and by his own actions give others cause to do the same, and make her fear for her own life(which wouldn't have happened, if he hadn't started that ball rolling)...he wouldn't be in the mess he's in now. Doesn't really have anyone but himself to blame. Gotta own up to your own actions at some point in your life.

But if he so strongly disagrees, he can always just go to jail. At least he was given an alternative option-one that cost him absolutely nothing at that. That's not all too common when you break a protection order. Usually, it's just jail time, or a hefty fine(sometimes both), no option B.
You can't claim privacy on a public fb page, lol. That's like trying to claim something is private after sharing it on an open forum. She can't see it because he has her blocked, but none of the dude's comments were private, at all. It was on the news here a few times, I've seen it in a couple papers too. Apparently it was an ongoing issue and he just wouldn't let up and was instigating others when people started threatening her.

If he wasn't acting like a dbag fool, he wouldn't be in trouble in the first place, and she wouldn't need an order of protection against him.
I've never had an inmate under my care that was forced to apologize to their victim/families. Usually, they are sentenced and then their court papers state that they have to take Victims Awareness class. In that class, they write apology letters, but they do not have to be sent. In fact, in our victim/offender dialogue, they can only do it if ALL parties agree. The offender is never forced to meet with the victim and we do not tell them what to say or that they have to apologize. I know that if I was a victim of crime, I wouldn't want an insincere apology.
His facebook was private to the extent that it wasn't visible to her, and therefore, he wasn't directly harassing her. He probably took the apology because his life would be further damaged if he went to jail. I can't blame him for doing that. He likely would lose his job and get behind in CS if he went to jail instead. So, he probably made the right decision for himself, but I wish he would have fought the ruling for the greater good. We'll probably see more of these ridiculous sentences being handed out in the future.

Do people not have the right to vent their frustrations to friends? For all I know, the guy only has 30 close friends on his facebook. I don't think a court should be allowed to make a person post/say something against their will. Sure, he made the decision to do it, but it was under duress. I also saw somewhere that he is making the husband be friends with the wife again on facebook. That is just freaking wrong.
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Last edited by *Leslie*; February 28th, 2012 at 06:21 AM.
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  #10  
February 28th, 2012, 06:45 AM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
Judges can tell you what you must NOT say, why shouldn't they tell you what you MUST say?
Apologies are put into sentences all the time. Making amends, if in your sentencing, usually involves some sort of apology to your victim(s) or their family(ies) as well.

I don't see this as much different.

If the dude didn't decide to use FB to harass and annoy her, and by his own actions give others cause to do the same, and make her fear for her own life(which wouldn't have happened, if he hadn't started that ball rolling)...he wouldn't be in the mess he's in now. Doesn't really have anyone but himself to blame. Gotta own up to your own actions at some point in your life.

But if he so strongly disagrees, he can always just go to jail. At least he was given an alternative option-one that cost him absolutely nothing at that. That's not all too common when you break a protection order. Usually, it's just jail time, or a hefty fine(sometimes both), no option B.
You can't claim privacy on a public fb page, lol. That's like trying to claim something is private after sharing it on an open forum. She can't see it because he has her blocked, but none of the dude's comments were private, at all. It was on the news here a few times, I've seen it in a couple papers too. Apparently it was an ongoing issue and he just wouldn't let up and was instigating others when people started threatening her.

If he wasn't acting like a dbag fool, he wouldn't be in trouble in the first place, and she wouldn't need an order of protection against him.
How did he harass and annoy her? He vented in his darn page. Never mentioned names at all. Just a vent about how he feels. It was her guilty mind that decided it had to be about her. Where was she harassed by others? No one should go to jail for not being happy about feeling like they're getting it up the butt in court. I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, she would have been just as upset and probably would have posted some nasty things herself. I've seen it time and time again where a mom will post about how her ex is a dead beat or a jerk, and she gets tons of support with no repercussions. Yet if a father complains that he feels he's being lied about and is losing rights with his own kid, he's an ahole and need to make a public apology daily for x amount of days. It's a double standard and BS plain and simple!
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  #11  
February 28th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Quoted from the article:

Quote:
The June court order prohibited Byron from causing his wife physical or mental abuse, harassment or annoyance. She asked in December that he be found in contempt after learning of the Facebook comments.
And

Quote:
Responses by Facebook friends to his posting caused Elizabeth Byron to be "afraid and concerned," according to court documents.
So he violated the court order - then the judge has a right to sentence him for violating the court order.

I can't help but wonder what else is going on. But then my ex would say that I'm a vindictive woman who kept his child away from him for no reason
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  #12  
February 28th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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As she was blocked from his FB, I don't understand how he was harassing her.
Quote:
the comments were not directed to Byron's wife, Elizabeth Byron, who was blocked from accessing the page.
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  #13  
February 28th, 2012, 09:53 PM
angelsailor288's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Why would you want a forced apology?
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  #14  
March 13th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammyjh View Post
As she was blocked from his FB, I don't understand how he was harassing her.
But he was inciting his friends to harrass her through their comments. Social media is a whole new world and a whole new outlet for abuse.
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  #15  
March 13th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
But he was inciting his friends to harrass her through their comments. Social media is a whole new world and a whole new outlet for abuse.
How would she see the comments if she was blocked from his FB page?
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