State v. HeffronAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the Unified Criminal Docket convicting Defendant of violating a protection order, holding that Defendant’s posts on his Facebook page, including threatening ones, directed at the protected person violated the protection order.
Defendant was enjoined by a protection from abuse order from having direct or indirect contact with the protected person. The State later charged Defendant with violating the protection order because Defendant had published several posts on Facebook concerning the protected person, and the content of the posts was “obviously offensive.” The court found Defendant guilty of violating the protection order. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in finding that the entries Defendant posted on Facebook did not constituted “direct or indirect contact” with the protected person; (2) Defendant had sufficient notice that the posts were a form of proscribed conduct; and (3) the trial court correctly determined that a conviction based on Defendant’s violation of the protection order did not place Defendant's First Amendment rights at risk.