Thursday, January 10, 2008

Divorce court violates free speech rights

The NY Times reports:
BOSTON — Normally, Garrido v. Krasnansky, a divorce case playing out in Vermont family court, would be of little interest to anyone but the couple involved. But the court has 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. ...

The order has surprised some experts in First Amendment law, who say it constitutes a prior restraint and appears too broad to be constitutional, especially since no hearing or trial has been held.
In my case, the judge has asked about this blog, but has not said that there is anything wrong with it. He did seem to think that there was something wrong with calling the CPS social worker an idiot. Maybe incompetent or evil or malicious would have been a better term.

The judge in my case was also strangely preoccupied on whether anyone in the courtroom was recording the proceedings. He kept checking for recording devices. There is no legitimate reason for him to care, as far as I can see. The court hearing was open to the public, and I don't that there is any law against recording it. I will be ordering an official transcript, so I will have the public record. I can even order an official recording on an audio cassette, if I want one. Then I could broadcast the audio on the internet. Maybe he is worried that someone will undercut the profits of the court reporter, I don't know.


Mister-M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's about the biggest fear I have with my own blog. I've made great strides on the long, arduous journey to getting 50/50 custody of my children... and I use the blog as a place to vent, educate others, and broadcast my opinions on matters relating to family court, divorce, laws, legislation... all that which has impacted my own life so profoundly.

I continue to blog, but live in fear that the discovery of its existence may be used against me in some future hearing, of which there are usually many.

My story:


George said...

The public needs to have a better understanding of how the family court deals with these divorces. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You could go a long way by actually providing audio recordings of your court proceedings, to your readers. The technology is there.
That would really make them sweat.