According to the Danville Register & Bee,
Jerry and Melissa Guyles -- the parents of a recently expelled cadet -- [were using] their Web site, www.HargraveHasProblems.com ... to publicly question Hargrave president Wheeler Baker's leadership and his handling of their son's dismissal.
Hargrave sued for libel, and a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, pending trial, enjoining the Guyleses (among other things) from:
a. continuing to operate the website HargraveHasProblems.com and/or from creating any other websites which disparage, defame, vilify, and/or contain false statements concerning Baker, Hargrave, and/or its administration, faculty, staff, and students;
b. continuing to solicit, contact or otherwise communicate with any parents or guardians of current, former, or prospective Hargrave students or any other persons or entities for the purpose of interfering or continuing to interfere with Hargrave's contractual relationships and/or expectancies; ...
Seems to me like a quintessential unconstitutional prior restraint -- a court order that's entered prior to a finding on the merits that the speech is constitutionally unprotected (in this case, consisting of false statements of fact). The government may indeed sometimes impose liability after a trial on the merits that finds that statements are false. In some situations, it may even be able to impose criminal liability after a trial on the merits that makes such a finding. But the prior restraint doctrine generally bars the court system from suppressing speech before any such finding, especially when the court order goes far beyond false statements -- for instance, statements that merely "disparage" the school, or that communicate opinions or true statements aimed at persuading people not to deal with Hargrave.
I can understand why the court would want to issue a temporary injunction pending a trial on the merits, in case the trial ultimately does find that the speech is unprotected. But as the Supreme Court held in Vance v. Universal Amusement Co. (1980), such temporary restraints on speech -- which may be entered based on a mere finding of likely success on the merits, following a highly truncated factfinding process -- are generally unconstitutional.
Many thanks to Becky Dale for the pointer to this case.