August 31, 2017 Articles

Service of Process Through Facebook Getting "Likes" from Courts

What if service of process via social media were viewed as a viable, first-choice method of service?

By Thaddeus Hoffmeister and John R. Hardisky

Technology is revolutionizing the ways that we do business, learn, and communicate. Widespread adoption of electronic filing is a prime example of how courts adapt to technology. As technology continues to evolve, it is reasonable to expect that the law will follow. One such trend currently gaining favor is reliance on social media for service of process.

The most recent Pew research study found that nearly 80 percent of Americans with access to the Internet utilize Facebook. Furthermore, 76 percent of those users reported visiting Facebook at least once per day. Compared to Twitter (24 percent), Pinterest (31 percent), Instagram (32 percent), and LinkedIn (29 percent), daily Facebook usage numbers are staggering.

The majority of legal disputes in this realm thus far include usage of social media posts as evidence to demonstrate a party‚Äôs conduct or intent. However, considering the usage rates of certain social media platforms such as Facebook, the idea of service of process via social media is taking hold in both family law and international disputes. 

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