A Facebook Apology or Jail?

A Facebook Apology or Jail?

In an ongoing case, a woman believes that her husband’s rant on facebook violated a court order. The judge in this case has found the man in contempt and ordered him to 60 days in jail beginning March 19 with the alternative of posting a facebook apology to his wife.

Many believe that a case like this raises troubling free speech concerns.

What happened?

Mark Byron, the husband, (pictured here, compliments to msnbc.com) was exonerated of criminal allegations, and a civil protective order was issued instructing him to stay away from his wife. His Nov. 23, 2011 facebook post read, “…if you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husbands 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…”

What happened after the colorful facebook post?

Apparently, his wife learned of it and believed it violated a previous protective order by Domestic Relations Court Magistrate Paul Meyers that prevented Byron from doing anything to cause his wife “to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.”

It remains to be seen what becomes of this case and whether courts can mandate facebook apologies such as this.