State Judges Begin to Accept Service via Social Media

You’re not the only one constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As more people become more constantly connected to these online profiles, a growing body of case law now authorizes the service of process through social media as a last resort. Yes, service via social media!

Judge Allows Divorce Summons Via Facebook

Most recently, a Manhattan supreme court justice allowed an attorney to serve divorce summons through a Facebook private message from the attorney’s account to the husband’s account. In his decision, the judge noted that websites such as Facebook and Twitter occupy “a central place in the lives of so many people. Thus, it would appear that the next frontier in the developing law of the service of process over the internet is the use of social media sites as forums through which a summons can be delivered.” The underlying rationale: it may be nontraditional, but the defendant receives the message.

Service Via Social Media Becoming Widely Accepted

Additionally, at the SMU Science & Technology Law Review’s 2014 Social Media Law Symposium, Dallas District Court Judge Gena Slaughter said a Dallas district judge has already authorized service of process via social media. Judge Slaughter further said she would consider allowing it herself. And another New York family court said in September that a man could send his ex-wife a child support notice using Facebook.

Therefore, in the future, defendants may not be able to simply avoid physical service of process. They might have to remove themselves from the online grid as well.




For more information on this topic, please visit our Social Media Law service page.

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