Legal Updates

A harassing publication on Facebook may justify issuing a restraining order even if the publication was removed

February 7, 2023

A person published posts against his brother on Facebook about a suspicion of committing sex offenses against his minor daughters and the brother moved to issue a restraining order against him. After filing the motion, the brother removed the publications.

The Court held that although the publications were removed, there is justification for issuing the restraining order. The conditions for issuing a restraining order are two: First, the harassment is disturbing a person’s peace, when harm to a person's reputation may also be deemed such a disturbance, and there is no requirement for an actual threat. Second, the circumstances give a reasonable basis that the person will be harassed again in the future. Here, the publications are harming to the brother's reputation and therefore meet the first condition. In addition, the posts which were published are numerous and have been posted throughout a long period of time, whereas the fact that brother removed the publications after the motion was made does not guarantee that he will not publish additional posts in the future. Therefore, there is justification for issuing a restraining order.