Texas Supreme Court overturns jail time for e-mails

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - In 84 e-mails, Gayle Magness ridiculed her ex-husband's weight, his sexual prowess and his new wife.

Magness and Raymond Coppock had divorced in 2004 -- after 23 years of marriage.

An attorney for Coppock says the ban on offensive language was added to the divorce settlement when the separation grew increasingly nasty.

The vitriol earned Magness an 18-month jail sentence. A Denton County judge ruled in 2007 that she'd violated a divorce decree that banned vulgar and offensive language between the ex-spouses.

Now, the Texas Supreme Court has voted unanimously to vacate the sentence. It ruled the judge couldn't enforce the contempt ruling with jail time.

The high court ruled the injunction against Magness was defective because it did not properly say that its prohibitions were mandatory. She could not be held in contempt and ordered jailed for violating an invalid order.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,


(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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