Man Ordered to Apologize to Wife Daily on Facebook Cites Free Speech Violation


Frustrated father who vented on Facebook over child visitation rights, now faces jail time if he won’t grovel to wife on the social network as ordered by district judge.

Liz Klimas
AP/The Blaze

March 20, 2012

CINCINNATI (The Blaze/AP) — A man who made comments about his estranged wife on his Facebook page — which he likened to venting while having a drink with a friend but on a larger scale — was threatened with jail unless he posted daily apologies for a month. Considering this a violation of his freedom of speech, Mark Byron stopped a few days shy of the 30-day requirement but a court has said he won’t face jail time over it.

Byron initially agreed to begin posting the apology last month to avoid jail but later said the ruling violated his First Amendment rights. He stopped posting the apology after 26 days, but Judge Jon Sieve, of Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court, determined Monday that he had posted it long enough.

… Byron, of Cincinnati, said afterward that he was relieved not to be in jail, “but I was prepared to go to defend my free speech rights.”

“We believe that by scripting and saying what he had to post on Facebook, the court violated his rights to free speech,” Ford said. “The First Amendment not only protects your right to speak, but it also protects your ability to remain silent.”

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