Woman Banned from Posting About Family on Facebook

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A New Jersey woman has made news recently for her questionable Facebook and blog posts about her husband and children. In late 2011, the woman was diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a state psychiatrist after she had lost custody of her children, kidnapping them and attempting to cross them over the Canadian border.Log in screen of Facebook.com

This woman, identified as H.L.M. for the safety of her children and family, posted on Facebook and on her blog about her family referencing Jeffrey Dahmer, the Book of Revelations, Satan and Hitler. These posts were said to be “rambling, irrational, disturbing and bizarre.” Therefore, a New Jersey judge ordered that “you can talk about what you want to talk about, but don’t reference (your husband) or the children.” However, the woman began using the word “Camelot” as code for her family, going against the court order and violating her probation. It is noted that she had used this code word over 160 times between the court order and her hearing.

The woman appealed this order, claiming that it restricted her first amendment rights. But is this actually a violation of her freedom of speech? Or is this court order in the best interest of protecting her children?

The appeal, issued on May 13, found that the order was not a violation of her first amendment right to free speech because it did not limit her from discussing anything other than her family. The restriction was merely in the attempts to protect her children and husband. Yet, this ruling draws a fine line in maintaining constitutionality. While I do believe that everyone is entitled to free speech, I also believe that there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to protecting children from a harmful environment. However, with any ruling that teeters on the line of constitutionality, we have to be careful in that the case can be used as a precedent for further exceptions to the rule.

More information on this story can be found in this article, published by the Star-Ledger.

Photo credit: © depositphotos.com/tom_hr

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