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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Evasive Subject Served via Facebook

In yet another example of how social media is creeping into every aspect of our lives, last month Australian Court in Adelaide ordered that the social networking site Facebook be used again to serve legal documents on an alleged father in a child support case.

This is the fourth instance of Facebook being allowed/ordered for the Service of Process that I am aware of. Australia, New Zealand and Canadian judges have all signed orders allowing a defendants to be served by posting the Notice of the Action to the defendants Facebook account.

Clearly judges around the world see social networks as being at least as reliable a means for giving notice if not more so than publication when all other methods have failed. I have to admit that I would agree that in certain circumstances service of process via social-networks or by other electronic means makes more sense than service by publication.

I would not dismiss these recent developments as being a fad or a trend. They are important and I believe they demonstrate that the courts and our customers are more and more willing to consider alternate manners of service that only a few short years ago where unthinkable.

As I write this post I am researching a ruling from the Supreme Court of India that appears to have ruled that Service of Process via email is now an acceptable manner of service for certain case types.

Stay tuned, more to follow.