The emergence of ride-sharing apps and other similar services and apps gives the family law practitioner the ability to obtain additional information about habits and routines of parties or witnesses. In our firm’s practice, we have used records from the ride-sharing giant Uber to prove adultery, dissipation of marital assets, and the spending ability of the breadwinning spouse to support a claim for alimony and child support. Getting that information and understanding how to interpret the data can be useful in settling a case or presenting your case to the court. Although parties to litigation may also work for Uber as drivers, this article focuses on obtaining rider information.
Uber rider records can first be obtained through a formal request for production. Once logged into Uber’s website, a party can go to the “My Trips” section and obtain detailed information about the trips booked through the Uber app. The request for production does need to request that the party produce the detailed records from the website (or email receipts). The basic information only shows the date of the trip and the total cost of the trip, while the detailed records provide the time and address of pickup and drop-off, the duration of the trip, a map of the route taken, the fare breakdown, and the method of payment. Additionally, you can also request that the party produce their “rating,” which are the rider’s reviews of the driver, between one star and five stars.
If the opposing party is not cooperating with discovery, or if you need to obtain the Uber records of a non-party, then a record subpoena will need to be issued for the detailed records. The record subpoena should include the phone number and email of the rider, as that is how Uber generally identifies accounts. The record subpoena should also identify the time period for which records are being requested. When serving the subpoena, I would recommend following the guidelines on Uber’s website regarding the service of record subpoenas through their registered agent in accordance with the rules of procedure in your jurisdiction. (Uber states that it is registered with Secretaries of State under the name “Uber Technologies, Inc.” or “Rasier, LLC.”)