Alabama Judge Threatens Health Impact News Reporter

In a move that can only be interpreted as an attempt to restrict free speech and deny the 1st Amendment right of freedom of the press, Alabama Circuit Judge Corey B. Moore had Health Impact News reporter Terri LaPoint escorted into his courtroom yesterday to give her a stern warning. Investigative reporter Terri LaPoint commented: "I had no idea that I would be taken into court today! I was simply outside (the courtroom) as a friend of the family when they called me in. I was only dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, since I never intended to enter the courtroom." Mrs. LaPoint was at the courthouse with the Prince family who had a hearing that day regarding one of the newborn babies that was taken away from the parents by DHR recently. Mrs. LaPoint has reported on the family and their fight against Alabama DHR which has removed two newborn nursing babies recently while still in the hospital at the time of birth. Her original story quickly went viral and was read by over 1 million people in the first 24 hours. Mrs. LaPoint relates how the court-appointed attorney for one of the young mothers who was at court that day explained to her that the lead counsel for DHR allegedly wanted to call her in and put her on the witness stand. They were allegedly upset with our reporting on these stories. The attorney appointed to the family allegedly objected, stating that she had no legal counsel at the moment and was not part of the case, but the judge ordered her to be brought into the courtroom anyway. Once Mrs. LaPoint was escorted into the courtroom, which she states this was the first time she was ever inside a courtroom, Judge Moore asked her what her name was, and told her that because she did not have legal counsel present, she did not have to make any comments or answer any questions. Mrs. LaPoint reports that Judge Moore then warned her that she should retain legal counsel, and become familiar with the confidentiality laws regarding juveniles in Alabama. The court-appointed attorney for the Prince family then apparently told Mrs. LaPoint on her way out that this was not strictly a "gag order," but that the judge was upset and wanted her to "play ball."