Close this search box.

Vermont Family Court and Blogger Rights

Family law scares me. Too much hate and negativity for my sensitive soul. However, it seems that if you turn over enough stones in any area of law, you’ll find an interesting First Amendment and/or intellectual property issue.

In Garrido v. Krasnansky, the husband, William Krasnansky let off some steam by writing a semi-fictional blog about his marriage and his divorce. He supplements it with passages from his ex-wife’s private diary.

The judge initially “ordered Mr. Krasnansky to take down “any and all Internet postings” about his wife and their marriage pending a hearing next month. (source)

That was clearly an unlawful prior restraint.

The judge, in a commendable act of humility, reversed himself in part. See Order. In his order, the judge notes that Krasnansky’s blog was certainly mean-spirited. But, he notes (as I wish most judges would):

The fact that speech is offensive, profane, irritating or even vexatious does not remove it from First Amendment protection. State v. Allcock, 177 Vt. 467, 469 (2004). (source)

Accordingly, he lifted the portion of his prior order that enjoined Mr. Krasnansky from writing about his ex wife.

However, he recognized the wife’s property interest in the diary’s contents. The judge interestingly notes that copyright law is beyond his jurisdiction, since this is a family court and not a federal court. Nevertheless, he asserts jurisdiction over the diary as a piece of marital property and allows his injunction to stand with respect to reproduction of this piece of property.

Skip to content