Choose your words carefully, case of Facebook post may go to trial

photo by flickr member orangesparrow

A Facebook post linking to Horry County's public court index and implication of guilt could land a local woman in judicial hot water when a circuit court judge decides whether a lawsuit against her will go to trial.

The homeowner's association president of The Pines of St. James, Gerald Baxter, is suing Nadonna Bloomfield for defamation of character after she posted on Facebook implying he was guilty of a crime and linked to charges filed against him that had been dropped prior to the posting.  According to this detailed Sun News report, which has gotten quite a few reader comments, Mr. Baxter is claiming great emotional stress and is pursuing unspecified actual and punitive damages. 

A reader's reaction on The Sun News site:

The fact is that Bloomfield is quoted as stating on her Facebook page, "I guess if you don't want a crime post (sic) in a public record, don'd do it." She states that he did the crime. She forgot that all are innocent until proven guilty. The story says that he was found innocent in a court of law. People have to be more responsible in what they say or they may get sued and rightfully so. The question is, how did he find out about the post? Usually gossip is behind someone's back and they never find out who said what, even though they may have suspicions. Even if someone tells them part of what was said, they won't say who said it. Most gossip is done by people who put others down because they are trying to make themselves look better than that person. That is very sad for them.

A reaction on The Sun News Facebook page:

Public record, private page, I say it ll be a NO.

We'll see how this one turns out.  In the meantime, be careful of what you say online.  There could be a consequence.

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