Higher court overturns decision to jail Florida mom after Facebook post

Investigations

8 On Your Side Investigates is back on the case of the Florida mom jailed after a Facebook post. 

Jessie Weiner has been released nearly four months sooner than expected after an order by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

The order, dated May 6, states that the “trial court erred in entering the order finding the petitioner in contempt because it did not strictly comply with the procedural requirements of rule 3.840.”

The order highlights Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.840(e), which states that if the contempt involves criticism of a judge, the “judge shall disqualify” herself.

Weiner’s Attorney Melissa Isaak said she filed a motion to have the judge disqualified but that didn’t happen until now. 

“That post did criticize the judge and there were other posts on Jessie’s page that did criticize the judge,” Isaak said.

The appeal court’s reasoning is not known because they have not yet released the opinion.

On April 2, Weiner, a mother of three, was taken into custody.

The incident stemmed from an ongoing family court case involving a child. 

Circuit Judge Lauralee Westine sentenced Weiner, who was not a party to the case, to five months for violating court orders.

She was set to be released in August. 

“I miss my family, you just kind of survive in here,” she said.

The trouble started with a post that showed up on Weiner’s Facebook page. 

In the post, sensitive family court documents concerning a child were released. The documents had to do with an ongoing family court case between Weiner’s husband and an ex. 

Even though Weiner was not a party to the case, the court took swift action.

Judge Westine explained her decision in court documents. 

On Nov. 6, the court had ordered that the sensitive documents be sealed. Those are the same documents that were posted on Weiner’s Facebook.

Isaak immediately appealed the decision. She said the court did not prove contempt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

8 On Your Side reached out to a court spokesperson but they are unable to comment on pending litigation.

Another judge will be assigned to Weiner’s case.  

Isaak will ask the court to dismiss this case.

8 On Your Side will continue to follow this developing story.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Thursday Early Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thursday Early Forecast"

Tampa Mayor Castor on places of worship order

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Mayor Castor on places of worship order"

Sheriff seeking arrest warrant against local pastor

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sheriff seeking arrest warrant against local pastor"

residents concerned about covid patient

Thumbnail for the video titled "residents concerned about covid patient"

Nurses union protesting lack of protective gear at HCA hospitals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Nurses union protesting lack of protective gear at HCA hospitals"

a group of past and present Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to help the local community by donating food and supplies to seniors in the area

Thumbnail for the video titled "a group of past and present Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to help the local community by donating food and supplies to seniors in the area"

Deposit Returned

Thumbnail for the video titled "Deposit Returned"

Tampa woman self-isolating with rescue ducks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa woman self-isolating with rescue ducks"

Hillsborough County to use 2 hotels as quarantine, isolation sites for residents impacted by COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hillsborough County to use 2 hotels as quarantine, isolation sites for residents impacted by COVID-19"

Invisible lines in sand cause confusion as Pinellas County beachgoers persist despite coronavirus orders

Thumbnail for the video titled "Invisible lines in sand cause confusion as Pinellas County beachgoers persist despite coronavirus orders"

NFL to begin season as scheduled in September

Thumbnail for the video titled "NFL to begin season as scheduled in September"

Businesses react

Thumbnail for the video titled "Businesses react"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss