Facebook Family Fracas

If you think you’ve got a dysfunctional extended family, this case may make you feel a little better. Or at least not alone. A plaintiff in Minnesota recently brought a case seeking a restraining order against his uncle based on his uncle posting family photos (which included the plaintiff) on Facebook, accompanied by what the plaintiff described as mean and disrespectful comments. The case doesn’t describe the comments in any detail. But plaintiff couldn’t convince the court that they rose to the level of harassment required for a restraining order under the controlling Minnesota statute. That statute defines “harassment” as words “that have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security or privacy of another.” Whatever the mean and disrespectful comments were here, they didn’t put the plaintiff’s safety at risk. Although I am guessing next Christmas will be awkward.