US Judge: Yes, You Can Serve Legal Papers Over Facebook

By Ashley Feinberg on at

It used to be that, when you wanted to slap someone with a lawsuit, you'd have to hunt them down the old-fashioned way: on foot. But now, a Family Court official in the United States has ruled for the very first time that, yes, you can indeed serve legal papers over Facebook.

The ruling came after a man had been (unsuccessfully) attempting to serve his ex-wife with a legal notice declaring his decision to stop paying child support. When the man's ex-wife continued to evade him, he decided that there's no reason her "active social media account with Facebook" shouldn't count as legal contact. Apparently, the judge agreed. According to lawyer Michael Stutman, head of family law at Mishcon de Reya in Manhattan:

The idea that physically handing someone a piece of paper is the only way to serve notice is archaic.

Obviously this case is particular to the US, but it hints towards rulings that could find their way to the UK and other countries across the world. In other words, it's time to start thinking twice before poking back. [NY Post]