A court order barring a woman from contacting another woman by “electronic or any other means” prohibited the subject from tagging the protected woman in a Facebook post, a New York judge has ruled.
Denying a motion to dismiss a criminal contempt case against Maria Gonzalez, acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci said the conduct, if proven, would violate the protective order, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) reports.
A lawyer for Gonzalez argued that the court order didn’t specifically ban making contact via Facebook.
The ABA Journal
It occurs fairly often in pending divorce situations that “no contact” orders are issued. It is also common for there to be “no contact” orders in criminal domestic violence cases. With the many ways that people have contact with one another these days other than face to face contact, such as email and texts that are delivered straight to people’s smartphones, it is easier than ever to violate these orders. That was illustrated recently in a case reported out of Westchester, New York where a judge has held that “tagging” a person who is the subject of a “no contact” order in a photograph in a Facebook post can violate a “no contact” order. This was noted in an article posted in an ABA Journal Tech Monthly article recently. There the judge refused to dismiss a criminal contempt complaint against a defendant due to the tagging of a person in a photograph.
These “no contact” orders are usually very broad and cover not only direct contact but indirect contact as well. If you have a divorce pending or a visitation schedule to work out these orders can be surprisingly easy to violate and can subject you to criminal or civil contempt penalties.