Judge Turns Nasty Into Nice

Orders of protection often involve what are known as no contact provisions, but when Daren Young violated a no contact order, his punishment was somewhat extraordinary. The presiding judge ordered Young to write 140 “nice” things about his former girlfriend, without repetition. As per the Associated Press, Judge Rhonda Loo told Young that “for every nasty thing you said about her, you’re going to say a nice thing.”

In Hawaii, orders of protection are enforceable for a year. They can also be extended, and violators can be prosecuted criminally.

Young already knew about how harsh the law can be when somebody threatens, harasses, intimidates or otherwise interferes with the civil liberties of another person. He spent 157 days in jail for calling and texting his victim more than 140 times in about three hours after a “no contact” order was entered against him by his ex-girlfriend. Part of that probation order likely requires Young to remain free from alcohol and drugs. Random testing is usually required.

The 140 “nice” things were just part of Young’s sentence. He was put on two years of probation, and he was fined $2,400. Young is also required to perform 240 hours of community service. He is still not allowed to directly or indirectly contact his former girlfriend, and if he is found to have done so, his probation can be revoked, and he can be sentenced to additional jail or even state prison time on top of the 157 days that he has already served.

The 140 “nice” things part of Young’s sentence falls into a gray are of Hawaii’s laws involving violations of orders of protection. Everything else appears to be within both those laws and Loo’s sentencing discretion. The sentence might be permitted by law, but the handwriting is already on the wall unless a timely appeal is filed.