Appeals court says mother can be banned from ranting about kids, ex-husband on Facebook

By Kyle Johnson,

An appeals court ruled that a New Jersey judge's decision to order a mother not to rant on Facebook or elsewhere about her kids or their father was not unconstitutional.

The unnamed mother violated a custody agreement with her ex-husband three years ago and she attempted to kidnap the two children and run off to Canada, reports the Los Angeles Times. While in the sentencing phase, she took to Facebook and made "disturbing" rants, which included mentions of Adolf Hitler, the devil, suicide and Jeffrey Dahmer.

As part of her sentencing, the judge ordered her to not post about the children or her ex-husband during her five years of probation. Prosecutors at the time said it could be harmful to the kids if they ever saw the posts.

She was known to have violated the order twice, but she claimed that the condition was too vague and her lawyer claimed that it violated her right to free speech. According to the Courier News, the appellate court disagreed saying that the probation order was quite clear that she could blog about anything other than her family. The court also said that it was in place to help her get better, "namely, to deter her from engaging in behavior that is harmful to her victims and to lead a law-abiding life."

The court noted that the original agreement, which was part of her plea deal to have the attempted kidnapping charge dropped had "no uncertainty or confusion as to what activity was prohibited" and she was still free to blog about anything else.

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