Internet Law

Court Workers Told They Can’t Post Drunken Photos, Nasty Comments and Judge Information


Court employees in Indiana’s Delaware County who persist in badmouthing co-workers or writing about their bosses on Facebook could be out of a job.

A new social media policy (PDF) bars employees in the county’s circuit courts from posting online information, good or bad, about co-workers, judges, litigants, local cops and lawyers who appear in court, the Star Press reports. Also banned are photos of court employees “in an intoxicated condition,” negative comments about co-workers, and information obtained through observations or work at the court.

Penalties range from a verbal warning for a first offense to firing for a serious or fourth offense. The policy applies to posts on blogs and websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Judge Marianne Vorhees told the Star Press she wanted to adopt a policy after attending a judicial conference last year and hearing about “all kinds of issues” arising from social networking by court employees, including judges. Vorhees and the county’s four other judges signed the new policy.

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