DIVORCE - PROCEDURE - GAG ORDER
The magistrate included three paragraphs at the end of the recommended order which are the subject of this petition:
13. Neither party shall disclose or reveal to any 3rd party, directly or indirectly, through any social media or otherwise, the details of any financial information, including but not limited to income or employment information, of any nature, of the other party.
14. Neither party shall contact, directly or indirectly, the other party's existing clients and/or employers and/or contractors or potential clients and/or employers and/or contractors, other than through the legitimate discovery process provided by the Rules of Civil and Family Procedure.
15. Neither party shall engage in any social media of any nature which comments, directly or indirectly, on the other party's emotional or mental health or personal behavior.
Held: Neither the trial court nor the general magistrate made findings of necessity, nor did they engage in any tailoring to narrow or limit the scope to those extrajudicial statements substantially likely to materially prejudice the trial. Indeed, paragraph fifteen of the order, which purports to prohibit either party from “engag[ing] in any social media of any nature which comments, directly or indirectly, on the other party's emotional or mental health or personal behavior,” is so overbroad as to render its boundaries indiscernible.
(Ed. note: The Miller of this case is Jason Miller, Senior Adviser to the Trump 2020 re-election campaign. For a tad more about this case, see these articles: "From Trump Aide to Single Mom" and "Trump campaign strategist Jason Miller tells judge he'll be unemployed after Dec. 15.")
In a custody proceeding, after affirmance of an order granting sole custody to the father, the father moved for sanctions and other relief to prohibit the mother and her counsel from speaking publicly about case, which involved allegations of sexual abuse by father, and from posting an online press conference by counsel with links to the reproduction of the child's testimony and the forensic interview. The trial court issued the gag order, and the mother appealed. Held: (1) gag order was content neutral under First Amendment free speech clause; (2) gag order furthered important governmental interest of protecting child's emotional well being and privacy; (3) gag order was sufficiently narrowly tailored to serve important governmental interest; (4) gag order was not unconstitutionally vague; and (5) free speech protections afforded by Federal and State Constitutions were coextensive with respect to gag order.