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Lawyer serves notice via Facebook

Lawyer serves notice via Facebook

While Facebook is popular for socialising, the lawyers seem to think it's useful for serving legal notices too.

In a somewhat bizarre application of the law down under, a judge has allowed a lawyer to serve legal documentation on an individual via Facebook.

As reported by Yahoo, the court in Canberra, Australia has approved the use of social networking site Facebook to serve legal documents, to notify a couple that their home is to be repossessed, by lawyer Mark McCormack.

The move comes after the lawyer, working for money lender MKM Capital, had failed to contact the couple by more traditional means – visits to the property had been fruitless, and e-mails had gone unanswered. After spotting the fact that the couple had a Facebook page which was still being updated, McCormack applied to the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court to classify an update to a Facebook page as a document that has been 'served.'

The couple, Gordon Poyser and Carmel Corbo, have since turned privacy options on in order to prevent people nosing at the court order. Speaking to the Associated Press, Poyser said that he felt the need to remove access to the Facebook profile “because [otherwise] I'd get every man and his dog having a look.

This isn't the first time a lawyer has applied to the Australian courts to be granted the right to serve notice via Facebook: according to lawyer Seamus Byrne a Queensland District Court denied a similar appeal in April this year on the grounds that the lawyer in question had not yet attempted to use a post office box the person had registered to contact them.

With the police already turning to Facebook, do you think that it was inevitable the lawyers would follow? Should legal documents be trusted to public social network sites? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

8 Comments

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Bluephoenix 18th December 2008, 16:21 Quote
**** no

too many name spoofers, someone could never be sure if they were serving papers to the right person.

I'm glad that in the US at least, paper copies are still required.
Gremlin 18th December 2008, 16:23 Quote
yet one more reason im starting to hate this countries goverments and laws

viva la revolution baby!

they keep going like this and it'll happen
DarkLord7854 18th December 2008, 16:36 Quote
Well honestly, if you can't contact the owners by other means, then why not? It's their fault they provided information leading to the inability to contact them.
scarrmrcc 18th December 2008, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Well honestly, if you can't contact the owners by other means, then why not? It's their fault they provided information leading to the inability to contact them.

i don't think it is a case, of inability to contact, i think it is a case of "LALALALALALA i can't hear you, so you are not serving me papers LALALALALALALA"
DarkLord7854 18th December 2008, 18:35 Quote
Right, that's what I meant, the lawyer was unable to contact them and thus had to resort to other means
B1GBUD 19th December 2008, 01:40 Quote
Did he have to be friends with the courts before he accepted?
The_Beast 19th December 2008, 05:42 Quote
I see nothing but problems with this
ZERO <ibis> 19th December 2008, 06:51 Quote
Hey we should be able to pay our taxes and preform other things like taking out loans via facebook. There could never be a question of identity over the internet and the accounts are uncrackable so nothing could ever go wrong. Even if it does you can just erase the problems away with delete!

We should also let masked men take money out of banks. They have name tags so we know who they are and "they promise" to pay us back later.
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