Injunction to Prevent Publication of Ex-Wife Comments In California

In In re Marriage of Candiotti, 34 Cal. App. 4th 718, 40 Cal. Rptr. 2d 299 (1995) the California trial court issued an injunction prohibiting the publication of certain comments by the ex-wife relating to the ex-husband's new wife. The trial court justified the restriction based upon its concerns with the ex-wife's motivation for disseminating the information and the derivative harm that might befall the children of the prior marriage. Id. at 724, 40 Cal. Rptr. 2d 299. The California Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and dissolved the injunction finding that it was a "prior restraint" in violation of the California Constitution, which is virtually identical to the New Jersey Constitution. Ibid. The California Court of Appeals acknowledged that it had the power to "issue orders bearing upon parties' relationship with their children and with each other." Id. at 725, 40 Cal. Rptr. 2d 299. However, the court went on to hold that the order went further because it actually impinged on a person's right to speak about another adult, outside the presence of the children, and therefore, the court found no basis to continue the restraint. Ibid. The California Court of Appeals held that the comments by the ex-wife were too attenuated from conduct directly affecting the children to support a prior restraint on the ex-wife's constitutional right to utter them. Ibid.