The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a judge's order that a man avoid having more children while on probation for failing to pay child support.
The court ruled 5 to 2 in favor of Sean E. Talty, saying his sentence was too broad because it did not include a method for lifting the ban if Talty caught up with his child-support payments.
Talty, 32, has seven children by five women. He was required to make "reasonable" efforts to avoid conception during his five-year probation after being convicted of not supporting three of the children.
Providing a procedure for lifting the ban "would have been, at the very least, an easy alternative that would have better accommodated Talty's procreation rights," Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer wrote for the court's majority.
Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler issued the order, which was later upheld by an appellate court in Akron. The case now returns to Kimbler for resentencing.
Prosecutors defended the lower court's order.
"This is a situation that many courts in the state of Ohio have to deal with, which is what to do with these types of individuals who continue to recklessly parent children and refuse to pay for them," said James Bennett, an assistant county prosecutor.
A message was left seeking comment from Talty's attorney, J. Dean Carro.