Judge allows defense to see Plaintiff’s social media postings

Well…it is in New York State that a judge allowed the defense, and ordered the Plaintiff, to have the Facebook and MySpace posting given to the defense. Found this on a blog, but it refers to a Westlaw source: http://blog.internetcases.com/2010/09/25/court-privacy-on-social-networking-sites-myspace-facebook-is-wishful-thinking-chicago-internet-attorney-copyright-lawyer/

Note, however, that the authoritive and more comprehensive ruling is here: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court/1539217.html

You have to admit that, no matter which side of a personal injury case you usually handle, the court in that New York Case appeared to reason it out, including the review of the relevant Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. ¶ 2701 et seq before requiring the Plaintiff to produce not only her current postings but any that have been removed. The court’s reasoning included the following truism: “Plaintiffs who place their physical condition in controversy, may not shield from disclosure material which is necessary to the defense of the action (see: Hoening v. Westphal, supra ).”

When a claim is made in a personal injury case, and even more so in a defamation case, it opens a Plaintiff’s life up somewhat. Although New York State law is not controlling in the slightest on the courts in South Carolina, I am sure that a defense lawyer or two will want to try this. After all, the family court lawyers have been saying this for awhile here. Now, at least you have some relevant statutes and law to assist you in seeking out the social media postings of a Plaintiff. Tell me if it works!


About MaxLaw843

Max is an attorney and a member of Grimball & Cabaniss, LLC where he has practiced litigation since 1987, concentrating in construction, personal injury, and business litigation. He also has handled quite a number of appellate cases. In the community, he is past president of the Scottish Society of Charleston, Inc. and is the Chair of Church Council of Bethel United Methodist Church in downtown Charleston.
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1 Response to Judge allows defense to see Plaintiff’s social media postings

  1. Max G. Mahaffee, Esq. says:

    UPDATE: More law on this exact subject, but from the State of Pennsylvania. Access the case’s PDF here: http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/uploads/file/McMillen%20v%20Hummingbird%20Speedway.pdf

    Just thought that you might want some further bullets for your gun in the event that you go to a South Carolina court to compel the needed social media.


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