Thursday, January 10, 2008

RePUGnant?

Here's an American case that is of interest both to divorce lawyers and to bloggers. In Garrido v. Krasnansky the Vermont Family Court has ordered the husband, William Krasnansky, to stop posting items about his wife and their failed marriage on his blog, 'LookAtMyPug's Jurnull', as reported in The New York Times. As the report indicates, the case raises issues about both spousal harassment and free speech.

Unrepentant, Mr. Krasnansky has refused to take down his blog, calling it “a deliberate act of civil disobedience.” He calls the blog "A Work Of Fiction", but a law professor advises that this might not protect him in a defamation claim, "especially if the court found that readers were likely to perceive the postings as factual statements about a real person and if the statements were false". Subject to this, the issue is between Ms. Garrido's right to protection from harassment (obviously a common thing for a divorce court to deal with), and Mr. Krasnansky's constitutional right to free speech, which his lawyer argues that the order breaches. It is not at all clear which of these should prevail, although, as the report points out, Ms. Garrido is certainly on stronger ground with her claim that Mr. Krasnansky has put excerpts from her old journals on the blog.

3 comments:

  1. My probation officer has suggested that I don't blog about the case of my dog Rocky and I getting arrested for alleged assault and being in charge of an out of control dog. I have been careful not to mention the prosecution witness by name, but I don't see why I should refrain from blogging about the case.

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  2. I'm no expert upon such matters, but I guess your probation officer is just being ultra cautious, in case anything you say might incriminate you, or prejudice the case.

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  3. #
    Jeanne Hannah 0 minutes ago
    Hello Karoli,

    Like you, I was initially concerned about the two juxtaposed issues in the Garrido / Krasnansky issue. Should, in fact, the judge issue an order that Mr. K take down the portions of his blog having to do with his wife and marriage. I blogged the case on January 11th. I was concerned because I saw the judge's ex parte order as a prior restraint - a No No to lawyers favoring protection of First Amendment rights.

    And then things changed when Mr. K chose to telephone me. Here's what happened next and more commentary on how the Internet can be used inappropriately as a form of harassment. http://tinyurl.com/c46jgq

    ReplyDelete

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