“[No] Posting Anything Further About [Plaintiff]”—You’re “Planting Bad Thoughts in People’s Heads”
From Weller v. Jackson (COA21-80), decided yesterday by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge John Arrowood, joined by Judges Hunter Murphy and Jefferson Griffin:
Gerald Jackson (“defendant”) appeals from a civil no-contact order restricting him from “posting anything further about” Louise Ann Weller (“plaintiff”)….
On 19 May 2020, defendant wrote and published an article on his online news blog “The North Carolina Beat.” The article discussed plaintiff and alleged that she had created several Facebook groups concerning missing persons in North Carolina and other states. The article further alleged that plaintiff used the groups to contact the families of the missing persons to offer help and support but would instead use the groups to terrorize the families and “spread false information” about them, including by insinuating the family members were responsible for the disappearances….
[P]laintiff filed a complaint in Onslow County District Court seeking a civil no-contact order against defendant under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50C…. Plaintiff explained that she had filed the action related to social media posts made by defendant on his “North Carolina Beat” Facebook page. In her opening statement, plaintiff expressed fear for herself and her family due to “harassment, slander, and verbal assaults that occurred to us from [defendant], as well as racial—racist sexual harassment slurs and verbal sexual harassment assaults.”
Plaintiff added that defendant was “threatening and insinuating that himself or others commenting on his [liv
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