Top court: Social media posts violate no-contact order

Labor & Employment

Social media posts can represent a violation of a protection order, the state's highest court ruled on Tuesday, affirming the conviction of a man who made threats on Facebook.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Richard Heffron III's arguments that his Facebook comments were a protected form of speech, that the posts didn't constitute direct or indirect contact, and that he wasn't told that his posts represented a violation.

In its ruling, the court concluded Heffron's social media comments violated the court-approved no-contact order and were outside the realm of constitutional protections.

"The court correctly determined that Heffron's communications with the protected person fell short of those that deserve constitutional protection," Justice Jeffrey Hjelm wrote, noting that the conviction "did not place his First Amendment rights at risk."

Heffron and the woman with whom he'd had a relationship were no longer Facebook friends but still had friends in common. In the posts, Heffron referred to the woman by name and threatened to harm her. A friend brought the comments to the woman's attention.

James Mason, Heffron's attorney, said courts in other states have reached different conclusions but that the facts didn't perfectly align with the Maine case.

"Obviously I'm disappointed," Mason said. "I think that there was no evidence that he ever intended to have these comments reach her."

After being convicted, Heffron was ordered to serve 21 days in jail, which was the length of time he was jailed before posting bail. He also was sentenced to a year of probation.

Mason said the ruling served as a cautionary tale. "It lets people know that they do need to be careful about what they post on the internet," he said. "It makes it clear that you have limited First Amendment protections on the internet, especially on Facebook."

Related listings

  • Filing period opens for West Virginia Supreme Court seat

    Filing period opens for West Virginia Supreme Court seat

    Labor & Employment 08/03/2018

    The filing period has begun for a special election for the West Virginia Supreme Court.The filing period for the unexpired seat of former Justice Menis Ketchum started Monday and runs through Aug. 21. The special election will be held concurrently wi...

  • Hawaii Supreme Court sides with lesbian couple in B&B case

    Hawaii Supreme Court sides with lesbian couple in B&B case

    Labor & Employment 07/10/2018

    A Hawaii appeals court ruling that a bed and breakfast discriminated by denying a room to two women because they're gay will stand after the state's high court declined to take up the case.Aloha Bed & Breakfast owner Phyllis Young had argued she ...

  • Supreme Court allows Arkansas to enforce abortion restrictions

    Supreme Court allows Arkansas to enforce abortion restrictions

    Labor & Employment 05/25/2018

    The Supreme Court is allowing Arkansas to put into effect restrictions on how abortion pills are administered. Critics of a challenged state law say it could effectively end medication abortions in the state. The justices did not comment Tuesday in r...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.

Business News

St Peters, MO Professional License Attorney Attorney John Lynch has been the go-to choice for many professionals facing administrative sanction. >> read
Houston, Texas Personal Injury Lawyers Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured. >> read