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Woman jailed for contacting family member

January 21, 2016

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD


According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a New York woman may be jailed for a year after tagging an in-law in violation of a protective order. The tagging is considered a form of electronic communication with the protected person in-law, and the defendant had been forbidden to make any contact, including through electronic communication. www.ajc.com/…/woman-faces-jail-after-tagging-…/np7Gb/


This does not appear to be the sort or prosecutorial overreach seen when at least one prosecutor tried to build a case for violation of the federal Violence Against Women Act on the accusation that a routine temporary restraining order (not a family protective order predicated on allegations of violence) in a divorce case meant the respondent could not lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. In this instance, there was an actual protective order which forbade communications, and Facebook tagging is facially intended to bring the post to the attention of the person tagged. Some people just can’t let something – or someone – go even when ordered to do so by a judge. 


Judges tend to dislike that sort of persistence.


There is no absolute right to say whatever you want to whomever you wish in whatever form or manner you choose and whenever you please. To obtain the protection and benefits of our society you must be subject to its rules. If you are too free a spirit to comply, you are likely to suffer the consequences. 
 

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