Original Case Details
In a strange case involving a strip club dancer and her ex-boyfriend, a restraining order was granted against the ex-boyfriend after he allegedly sent a harassing email to the woman's priest. In the email, the ex-boyfriend claimed that the woman had “the spirit of Jezebel” inside her, needed an exorcism and that the ex-boyfriend would help in the exorcism. The priest found the email to be threatening and forwarded the email to the woman, who was so disturbed by it that she immediately sought a temporary restraining order that was granted and later made permanent as a final restraining order.
The couple had previously dated for over a year and also lived together. The woman would work on weekends where the man would frequent. During one interaction, the man called her Jezebel and told her that God was coming for her. He was asked to leave after two employees interceded, which led to the email being sent to the priest, which led to a restraining order.
New Jersey Court of Appeals Decision
The man filed an appeal with the New Jersey Court of Appeals, claiming that his actions were not worthy of a restraining order, and further, that his comments were protected by the First Amendment as religious speech. The court not only found that his actions were worthy of a restraining order, but they also found that his comments were unprotected speech and can lay the basis for a restraining order petition. While most forms of speech are protected by the Constitution, it is important to remember that not all speech is free.
Not All Speech is Free
Freedom of speech is a right protected by the Constitution. But this does not mean we can say whatever we want, whenever we want. Speech that is meant to cause a riot or that is meant to defame is not constitutionally protected, and neither is the alleged statement by the defendant, “God is coming for you, Jezebel.” The defendant argued that his comment was religious in nature and thus protected by the Constitution. The Court of Appeals found that this speech constituted harassment and was not constitutionally protected. Any comment that is meant to harass can lay the basis for a restraining order petition. If you have legal questions, then call us at The Lento Law Firm so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are facing a restraining order petition, then it is important to speak to an attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless people across New Jersey fight their cases. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are the right choice to help you.