Social media is ubiquitous. Individuals post all kinds of personal details, including images of themselves in recreational activities, to be shared with or circulated to the public or to a limited number of people with who they have real or ephemeral ties. Social media content may be relevant to civil litigation and hence discoverable. What limitations might a court impose on such discovery? One answer is provided by Scott v. USPS, Civil Action No. 15-712-BAJ-EWD (M.D. La. Dec. 27, 2016).
Scott arose out of a motor-vehicle accident. The plaintiff commenced a civil action and sought damages for personal injuries. One defendant sought discovery of the plaintiff’s social media “about her activities since the accident, which involve physical activity,” and attached to a motion a post-accident image of the plaintiff and her fiancé in ski attire on a mountain. Not surprisingly, the plaintiff resisted the discovery.