Domestic Diversions

Harassment in divorce case versus free speech under First Amendment

The New York Times reports on the Vermont divorce court handling Garrido v. Krasnansky. The court ordered the husband to stop posting blog items about his wife and their crumbled marriage, possibly turning an ordinary divorce into a much broader battle over free speech on the Internet.

Abby Goodnough writes (excerpt):
The husband, William Krasnansky, posted what he calls a fictionalized account of the marriage on his blog late last year. His wife, Maria Garrido, complained to the judge overseeing their divorce, who ordered Mr. Krasnansky to take down “any and all Internet postings” about his wife and their marriage pending a hearing next month.
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Ms. Ellwood says that the blog, at lookatmypugs.livejournal.com, constitutes harassment, and that it is typical in divorce cases for judges to bar harassment by either party.

But Ms. Schoenberg has countered that a defamation claim does not belong in family court — Mr. Smolla and several other scholars said the usual venue was civil court — and that, regardless, her client’s freedom of speech trumps his wife’s concerns.


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2 thoughts on “Harassment in divorce case versus free speech under First Amendment

  1. Anonymous

    My husband has obtained a restraining order against me for seeing him once in the street, trying to talk to him – and for internet postings concerning his affair with his mistress. He also tried to get a restraining order against our children, who posted about this with their high school friends on MySpace and Yahoo Answers. I now have a five year restraining order against me, preventing all contact with my husband. A female family law judge gave him this restraining order against me. I am reeling from the humiliation of this and have no idea what to do. My children are distraught that their father wants nothing more to do with them.
    Does the First Amendment apply here?
    Please protect my anonymity as I have a restraining order against me! However, I have no lawyer, and need all the help I can find.

  2. Kim

    Really it is quite immature to post things about your husband having an affair. Get over it and move on. Things happen..people get hurt. Do you really believe that telling the world of your woes will make him come back or make him feel bad for what he has done. This is the reason woman have a bad reputation..they are whinny and over emotional.

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