It has been reported that Justice Nigel Teare, a High Court judge in England, allowed attorneys to serve a suit against a defendant via Facebook.
The case involves two investment managers who claim that a brokerage firm and a former broker overcharged them. The lawyers were unable to track down the ex-broker and they did not have his email address, so they requested permission to serve the suit through the social networking site.
How did they know he was still using the site? Someone from their firm, Memery Crystal, had been monitoring the ex-broker’s account (seems like a fun billable task?) and the lawyers informed the court that the ex-broker recently added two new friends (not the investment managers).
The ex-broker was given additional time to answer the claim in the event he was not accessing his account regularly.
As in Minnesota, British lawsuits are ordinary served in hard copy — either in person, by mail, or by fax — although unconventional means are occasionally used if the people involved are hard to find. In December, a British judge filed an injunction against London-based protesters from the Occupy movement via text message.
[Editor’s Note: Interested in more ramifications of Facebook and Minnesota law? Check out this recent MinnPost piece by Joe Kimball on a recent Court of Appeals case affirming dismissal of a nephew angry at his Uncle Randy’s posting of an embarrassing family photo.]