It’s astonishing that something like this could happen when it’s so obviously and grossly illegal, but a woman in Georgia is suing her ex-husband, one of his cronies, and the county they live in, because she says her husband put her and one of her friends in jail–actual jail–over Facebook.
According to Boing Boing, Anne Boyd King was grumpy one night because she and both of her kids had the flu, and everyone was miserable. To help the kids feel better, she says she contacted their father and asked if he’d pick up some medicine for the kids. He said no.
So Anne King posted about it to Facebook, writing: “That moment when everyone in your house has the flu and you ask your kid’s dad to get them (not me) more Motrin and Tylenol and he refuses.”
Anne King’s friend, Susan Hines, responded that King’s ex was a “POS”–Internet shorthand for “piece of shit”–and offered to make a medicine run for her.
Meanwhile, Captain Corey King of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, who was too busy to pick up medicine for his sick kids, decided he was not too busy to have his ex-wife and Susan Hines arrested.
Anne King alleges that her husband filed a police report with a sheriff’s investigator buddy of his. Another buddy, Magistrate Ralph O. Todd, reportedly issued a warrant to bring the two women to his court, and then he charged them with criminal defamation. (According to Pope Hat, Georgia does not have a criminal defamation statute.) King also maintains that Todd threatened to ban her from Facebook, even though he’s not Mark Zuckerberg, just a petty small-town magistrate.
Anne King says she was handcuffed, and she and her friend were actually arrested, taken to jail, and booked. The deputies couldn’t even figure out how to book them, because the arrest was so unlawful there wasn’t a real way to get them in the system.
The women were out on bond a few hours later, and when they later appeared in court before an actual judge, he was like, “WTF? None of this is real. Why are we here?” and dismissed everything.
Captain King seems to think he won, though, because Anne King says he threatened her with “willful contempt” if she complained about him on Facebook again. (Gee, I wonder what he’s going to think about this, now that the news is out?)
Anne King is now suing her ex husband, his investigator buddy, and Washington County. She can’t sue the magistrate, because he’s protected by judicial immunity, even though nobody of right mind would call him a “judge” without using air quotes.
Is truth a defense in a case like this? Because having the mother of your children and one of her friends thrown in jail for complaining about you on Facebook seems like it could be submitted as evidence that you are, in fact, a piece of shit.