32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 14 Side B
Your Facebook Statusâ€”â€œServedâ€?
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32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 14 Side B
The consultation paper stated that while it envisioned social media playing an important role in substituted service scenarios, it â€œdoes not preclude the use of social media for personal service or ordinary service in certain situations.â€?95 For example, it envisions that parties to a contractual agreement could stipulate in advance that service can be made via electronic means, including social media.96 Similarly, the paper noted that a court has the inherent SRZHUWRHQWHUDQRUGHUÂżQGLQJWKDWVRFLDOPHGLDZRXOGEHÂłDVXLWDEOHPHDQVIRUHIIHFWLQJRUdinary service,â€? and could direct that such service be â€œproperly effected by emailing a copy of WKHGRFXPHQWWRDSDUWLFXODUHPDLODGGUHVVRUE\SRVWLQJRQWKHZDOORIDVSHFLÂżHG)DFHERRN account which has been established to be accessible to the party to be served.â€?97 Notwithstanding the options of a contractual agreement or a court order, the Court acknowledged that â€œ[i]t may only be possible to use social media for personal and ordinary service in very limited situations.â€?98 Substituted service, it said, â€œis the most appropriate way of tapping on social media for service of documents in Singapore.â€?99 Since the whole object of substituted service is to bring the legal documents to the defendantâ€™s attention where reasonable attempts at personal service have alAs for publication, Judge UHDG\RFFXUUHGDQGZKHUHWKHFRXUWLVVDWLVÂżHG Burke observed that â€œNobody, as to the impracticability of personal service, particularly poor people, is going the Court reasoned that â€œwhere it is shown that to look back at the legal newspaper the defendant is an active user of social media,â€? service through a social networking site â€œmay to notice that their spouse wants to even be more effective than the traditional modes of substituted service such as posting at get divorced.â€? the Supreme Courtâ€™s notice board or advertisement in the daily press.â€?100 The paper goes on to say that such a form of substituted service not only achieves the goal of furnishing the defendant with notice of the court proceedings, it also gives plaintiffs more options â€” and less expensive ones at that â€” when dealing with evasive or unresponsive defendants.101 The consultation paper does add certain cautionary notes, taking into account such conFHUQVDVWKHIDFWWKDWDSDUW\PD\QRWORJLQWRKLV)DFHERRNSURÂżOHUHJXODUO\WKDWKHPD\ not see the messages posted on is Facebook wall, that the defendant might be away from his computer for extended periods, and that there may be issues raised regarding a personâ€™s real (versus online) identity or the security of a given site.102 Such â€œvalid concerns,â€? the Court said, would be properly addressed by the court ordering substituted service as part of its gatekeeping role in only allowing such service in â€œdeserving situations, not as a matter of cause.â€?103 Substituted service through social media, the high court warned, â€œwould not replace the traditional methods of substituted service but would only be an additional option for use in suitable circumstances,â€? such that â€œsocial media is not employed willy-nilly to prejudice a defendant in court proceedings.â€?104
VOLUME 2, I SSUE 2
7/3/12 7:56 AM
This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.