Court: Man Must Apologize to Wife via Facebook

The estranged husband violated a temporary protection order with a Facebook post

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

Next time you decide to use your Facebook status update as a space to air your grievances, consider the case of Mark Byron.

Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT reports a court has ordered the man to say he’s sorry to his estranged wife, Elizabeth Byron, via Facebook after violating a temporary protection order by posting the following on his Facebook wall: “If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely—all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!”

Elizabeth Byron filed a motion after she learned of the post, according to the station, and magistrate Paul Meyers ruled that Mark Byron could pay back child support and post the apology on the social media site for 30 days in lieu of spending 60 days in jail and ponying up for a $500 fine.

To be sure the apology is up for the 30-day period, Meyers ordered that Mark Byron give his wife, or someone she selects, friend status, WLWT reports. Maybe it’s time to stick to weather reports, restaurant check-ins and cat videos, huh?

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First Published February 23, 2012

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M 02.27.2012

Perhaps I am missing something, but exactly how did his Facebook post violate a protective order? Not only did it not harm her it didn't even threaten harm, Perhaps if he had emailed it to her or something it could be construed as harassment (and thus technically a violation), or it could be construed as libel if it named her directly (and could be proven untrue) but all he did was express his opinion/frustration on his own Facebook page!
Obviously she would not be thrilled with it, since she sees herself differently than it portrays (I obviously do not know the backstory her nor do I suspect do other readers), but a violation of a protection order?
Don't me wrong -- I am glad that protection orders exist in order to protect the innocent from harm. However this kind of interpretation makes a mockery of that process and of true victims ("true victims" could potentially include this woman if she was harmed or threatened in the past, but she is not a victim of that post).

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