Iowa Law Blog

Is facebook contact?

An Iowa City man was arrested earlier this month for allegedly violating a temporary protective order when he commented on old photos of him and the protected party on facebook. The temporary protective order had been entered following an ex parte hearing in which the protected party presented her explanation of the nature of the abuse and stated her desired relief. A temporary protective order (and permanent protective order) can require a person to stay away from and not communicate with the protective party in any way. A person who violates a temporary or permanent protective order is subject to immediate arrest if probable cause exists that he or she violated it. In the case of the Iowa City man, he indicated that he did not intend to contact the protected party when he made his posts on facebook and said that he "was just commenting on the past good times." The protected party failed to appear for hearing on the alleged violation and the matter was dismissed. As such, whether or not the Iowa City man's actions were in fact a violation of the temporary protective order as determined by the Court are unknown.    

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