Judge Enters Order For TikTok'r To Remove Viral Videos

Last Week NSM wrote an article about a viral TikTok story regarding a female Black girl who goes by the TikTok name “savannahsmil101”.  Read the article here: https://neverstopvoices.com/blogs/news/tiktok-video-of-statutory-rape-goes-viral-590k-views

We posted copies of those videos on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LZi8qfv4GI&t=17s

Savannah had posted a three part story alleging abuse, false imprisonment and sexual intercourse with a minor child 16 years or older by a White Male named Daniel Campbell.  During NSM’s investigation we learned that Daniel Campbell was in fact charged with a Class A misdeamenor for this crime and had a “Repeater” enahancement due to a drug possession conviction.  On August 29th 2016 the Fon Du Lac County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion with the court to dismiss the charge. The State claimed according to the motion that although they could prove the case, further criminal action was not necessary. The two had a 9 year difference in age, again Savannah was 16 at the time she got pregnant and Campbell was 25. Campbell was still with his girlfriend and supported the child that the two had together. The motion also alleges that prior to the relationship beginning; Campbell did “seek permission”’.  For those reasons the District Attorney, Kristin R. Menzl who still works for the Fon Du Lac County DA’s Office wrote: “I don’t believe that a criminal conviction for this case would further any interest of justice nor do I believe that society would be harmed in any way by the dismissal of this case.  For those reasons I respectfully request this court for an order dismissing the case “without prejudice”. Remember in our first article, a 16 year old can not consent and Wisconsin does not have a Parental Consent Law.

Savannah claims she was never notified about this hearing.  Years later when she found out she wrote to the courts telling them she was not notified and the courts told her that the case was done because she consented to the sexual relationship, according to an interview I did with Savannah.

There was an emergency court hearing scheduled for today 12/22/22 regarding the best interests of the children.  NSM obtained a copy of the Guardian Ad Litum’s report to the court.  In the document it states “Daniel was convicted of Disorderly Conduct in Fon Du Lac County” which NSM reported allegedly has to do with one of the Domestic Violence incidents between Daniel and Savannah.  “Daniel reported in his GAL questionnaires that he has been arrested two times for incidents of domestic violence, but that there has not been any domestic violence or harassment injunctions granted against him.  Daniel denies the children witnessed any physical or verbal abuse between he and Savannah.”

The report goes on to say, “Shortly after the filing of Daniel’s Motion to Modify Placement, Child Support, and Transportation, Savannah contacted law enforcement to report alleged statements made by one of the minor children that his dad had “hit him on the head and chest”.  No visible injuries or bruising were observed by CPS.  The minor child was taken to the hospital for a child abuse examination. According to the incident report, “although the doctor indicated that the minor child had mentioned that his father would hit him on the stomach and on the buttock, the doctor did not observe any marks that he was concerned about, however the doctor did advise that the incident should be investigated.”

“When law enforcement made contact with Daniel, he denied committing any acts of child abuse toward the minor child.”  Ultimately the matter was closed by police and CPS screened out the allegation “due to no present or impending danger threats identified.”

In one of Savannah TikTok videos she also alleged that Daniel’s home was not suitable for the children due to a remodeling project.  In the report from the GAL, she stated, “With respect to Dan’s residence, it is not adequate in my opinion to accommodate any additional placement of the children.  The home is a duplex.  The lower portion of the home is stripped to the studs.  The upper is a one bedroom flat type unit that has limited square footage.  Dan, his girlfriend, their child, and the two minor children involved in the family case between Savannah and Daniel are all sharing the same space to sleep.  The one room that contains the living, dining, and kitchen area is extremely small.  It contains one couch and one table with two chairs.  There is not enough space for the family to sit down and eat.  There is a small area that can barely be described as a functioning kitchen.  If Daniel is serious about wanting to be a primary placement parent, he will need to address his current living situation.”

In regards to Savannah’s TikTok stories that went viral, the GAL reports, “regarding social media, Savannah has gone viral making claims about her abusive relationship with Daniel.  She has shared personal information about Daniel and about this custody litigation such that Daniel has received threats from total strangers.  During the 12/10/22 Facebook Live video with Milwaukee Activist Vaun Mayes, one of the minor children “was present in the background.”

According to online records, the Winnebago County Court Judge Lisa M. Kruegar entered a court order that neither party is allowed to post on social media regarding the case or disparaging comments towards one another.  The judge also commented that the Clerk of Courts has received hundreds of calls from people all over the country rallying around Savannah and that the calls needed to stop.

NSM did some digging regarding courts entering court orders barring litigants from posting on social media during their active court cases.  This is a major 1st Amendment violation and courts around the country have tried to enter these types of orders and have gotten them reversed. However, that doesn’t make non-disparagement orders automatically unconstitutional.

Under a constitutional law doctrine known as “strict scrutiny,” a law that would otherwise be unconstitutional can be constitutional if the law is tailored narrowly to achieve a compelling government interest.

A couple of cases to point out, and keep in mind there are hundreds of cases throughout the country including Wisconsin is Shak v. Shak, No. SJC-12748 (Mass. May 7, 2020), the Massachusetts high court held that such an order was an impermissible prior restraint on free speech in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It appears the court is attempting to use the loop hole of “protecting children” as a way to violate Savannah’s 1st Amendment right to free speech under the "strict scrutiny" law doctrine, which also includes her posts on social media.  In Shak, the government has a compelling interest in the protection of children. Thus, the question is: Is the judge’s order tailored narrowly to achieve that compelling government interest in protecting the Shak child from the warfare between the parents?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said no.

“As important as it is to protect a child from the emotional and psychological harm that might follow from one parent's use of vulgar or disparaging words about the other, merely reciting that interest is not enough to satisfy the heavy burden of justifying a prior restraint,” Associate Justice Kimberly Budd wrote for the court.

In a unanimous decision, the commonwealth’s high court held that Ms. Shak had failed to demonstrate sufficient potential harm to the child to warrant the drastic step of prior restraint.

Citing the US Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. American Civ. Liberties Union, 535 U.S. 564 (2002), the court noted, “As a general matter, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content."

As the US Supreme Court observed in Alexander v. United States, 509 U.S. 544 (1993), “The term 'prior restraint' is used to describe administrative and judicial orders forbidding certain communications when issued in advance of the time that such communications are to occur.”

Massachusetts courts have held that nondisparagement orders are, by definition, a prior restraint on speech. See Care & Protection of Edith, 421 Mass. 703 (1996).

Government prior restraint of speech is generally unconstitutional. In fact, in Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539 (1976), the US Supreme Court held that, because prior restraint on speech is an “immediate and irreversible sanction,” it is “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.”

Due to the court order, Savannah was forced to take down her TikTok posts and any other social media posts that pertain to her relationship with Daniel Campbell and the current family court case, and GAL investigation.

Campbell has also filed a Motion for Contempt against Savannah for being outside the legal mileage for residence of the children.  Under Wisconsin law, the primary placement holder of the child/children is not allowed to live more that 100 miles from each other.  Savannah lives 102 miles from Campbell.  Savannah told NSM that her existing court order states no more than 150 miles.

NSM also learned that this hearing was not recorded by a court reporter or any other type of recording instruments.  Despite the Court Reporters Act which states: “Under the Court Reporters Act (28 U.S.C. § 753), every court session and other proceeding designated by rule or court order must be recorded verbatim by a court reporter or by ESR, apparently Court Commissioners are not required to record standard hearings in Wisconsin.

The two have another court hearing March 8th at 9am for a review hearing as well as the Contempt Motion against Savannah will be heard.

This is an ongoing story and NSM will continue to cover it.

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