The remedies in (740 ILCS 21/) commonly referred to as Illinois Stalking No Contact Order Act, are getting out of date as technology advances some say. What do you think??
Did you know that you can obtain a No Contact order on someone for things they post on the internet if serious enough, but the order does not stop the person from continuing to post as long as they make no “contact” with you?
“Contact” includes any contact with the victim, that is initiated or continued without the victim’s consent, or that is in disregard of the victim’s expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued, including but not limited to being in the physical presence of the victim; appearing within the sight of the victim; approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or on private property; appearing at the workplace or residence of the victim; entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim; or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
Yeah there is no relief granted to stop the person, who the order is granted against from merely talking about the victim. Which makes sense in a way.
Some people would argue well its “stalking” they can’t do that… Well lets look at the laws definition of stalking.
“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person or suffer emotional distress. Stalking does not include an exercise of the right to free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful or picketing occurring at the workplace that is otherwise lawful and arises out of a bona fide labor dispute, including any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits, including health and welfare, sick leave, insurance, and pension or retirement provisions, the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.
Sadly one person merely talking about someone online has been ruled by the Illinois Supreme Court as their right to free speech.
Then you get organizations like us (Springfield IL Exposed Publishing) which operates a legally defined non profit news organization recognized by several city, county, state, & federal agencies. People get offended by nature on some of the stories we do and feel the need to try and drag individual employees of our organization into court for a civil no stalking order. Likewise though our organization and employees are protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media and published materials. The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to gather, publish, and distribute information and ideas without government restriction; this right encompasses freedom from prior restraints on publication and freedom from Censorship.
Section 4 of the Illinois Constitution reassures that right on the State level “All persons may speak, write and publish freely, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.”
No matter if its the Press or another direct individual person… What is the point in granting these orders if they mean nothing more than a piece of paper? Since if all the alleged incidents were internet based, the no contact order does not stop future alleged internet based incidents.
Whats your opinion? Fill in the comment section below or email us!