One of the most common questions asked today is if papers can be served on a person’s Facebook, Twitter or other social media account. The answer is an extremely qualified yes, according to many courts across the United States.
The Second Court of Appeal found in Coastal Capital Venture, LLC v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. that Coastal Capital Venture was not justified in serving the other company on Facebook. They found that Coastal Capital Venture had working cellphone numbers where they were communicating with the other company via text messages on a regular basis. The court found that if they were communicating, then it was easy to serve the defendants using alternative serving methods. The court ruled, however, that serving the company by sending a certified letter to the Secretary of State was appropriate.
Not all courts, however, have ruled that serving a person on social media was inappropriate. In Baidoo v. Blood-Dzraku the court said that a person seeking a divorce could serve her soon-to-be ex on Facebook. The plaintiff had already tried several methods of finding her ex, including hiring an investigative firm to locate him, contacting the post office for a forwarding address, looking for a bill using his phone number and doing a search with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The judge granted permission for the person to be served on Facebook ahead of the individual being served. In making his decision, the judge found that the person was likely to see the summons on Facebook.
The United States District Court in Alexandra, Virginia, found in the case of Whoshere, Inc. v. Who Near that notification of Facebook and LinkedIn along with an email was an acceptable way to serve someone legal papers. Who Near was located in Turkey, so the plaintiff also sent copies to the Turkish Ministry of Justice as required under the Hague Convention. The judge agreed to hear the case with Whoshere winning.
In all cases, the judge pointed out that it was important to prove that the standard for serving papers was withheld. That standard reads, “notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections.”
While it may still take some time to sort out if serving papers on social media will stand up in all courts, if traditional methods of serving papers fails, then process servers can use some common alternative methods. With court approval, papers can be served to another court-approved family member. That person must be over the age of 18 in most cases. Secondly, notice can be delivered to the person’s place of employment. In some cases, a secretary or manager can sign for the papers with court approval.
Contact Central Florida Process about all your process serving needs as they want to be your process server in Orlando. This team of process servers in Orlando has the experience to meet your needs in a timely manner.