In many cases, proof of Facebook posts or messages that show a violation of an Order of Protection is hard evidence to overcome, especially when it is true. And even if you were to allege that the Facebook message or post is false, it is hard to prove that its false evidence or fabricated evidence when it has your name and your picture.
That’s what happened to one unlucky victim in Orange County, California. His ex-girlfriend obtained an Order of Protection against him after alleging that he would drive by her home and threaten to her and her young daughter. The ex-boyfriend denied all claims but the Judge did not believe him.
After the entry of the Order of Protection, the ex-girlfriend then started a fake Facebook page for the ex-boyfriend that included his name and picture. She used this page to send herself messages in order to have him arrested for violations of the Order of Protection.
In one case, however, in Orange County, California, the State’s Attorneys themselves suspected foul play during the ex-girlfriend’s testimony during a preliminary hearing about troubling messages through the fake Facebook account. The State’s Attorney issued a subpoena to the cell phone providers which took months to obtain the results. In the end, the results showed that the Facebook messages came from the ex-girlfriend’s cell phone herself. In essence, she was sending herself messages in order to further frame her ex-boyfriend and put him in jail.
The ex-boyfriend was eventually exonerated of all crimes although his grandmother, who had re-mortgaged her home in order to pay for his bond, had passed away before he was exonerated.
Although rare, this is a good reminder about the ways social media can be used against you. It is usually our recommendation that parties in a divorce or contested proceeding deactivate their account to avoid any problems. You may be cleared in the end, but the hassle of having to defend yourself from baseless claims can be devastating to your emotional well being and to your pocket.