Oakboro, NC asked in Internet Law, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for North Carolina

Q: Can a fb status indirectly directed towards a person(s) be considered Communicating Threats?

Your Son-In-Laws Sister puts up a status talking about going to war over him and you know it's directed towards your daughter, etc....Can that be considered communicating threats?

1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda Bowden Johnson
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Without seeing what was actually written it is hard to say but I'm going to go out on a limb and say likely not. In order for there to be a crime of communication of a threat several things need to happen: (1) a threat to physically injure someone or damage property (2) that threat is communicated to the other person (3) a reasonable person would believe that the threat is likely to be carried out; and (4) the person threatened actually believes the threat will be carried out. So a FB post of 'going to war' is likely not a threat. 1) there's no threat of physical injury or property damage. 2) it doesn't appear the statement 'going to war' was directed at anyone. 3) no reasonable person is concerned about some girl typing on FB that she's 'going to war' 4) so even if your daughter is unreasonable enough to believe 'going to war' is a threat and that it is likely to be carried out against her, none of the other necessary elements appear present to make this a crime.

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