32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 15 Side B
Your Facebook Statusâ€”â€œServedâ€?
Legal analysts in England applauded the ruling. Solicitor Danvers Baillieu observed â€œThe rules already allow for electronic service of some documents, so that they can be sent by email, and it should also be possible to use social networks.â€?110 George Lubega of the PinVHQW0DVRQVODZÂżUPVDLGWKHFRXUWÂśVSUDJPDWLFGHFLVLRQZDVDVLJQRIWKHFKDQJLQJWLPHV Courts are becoming much more realistic about these sorts of thingsâ€Ś . The usual method of serving documents is through the post, but court orders are served by fax, by email. Iâ€™ve even served them, effectively, by reading them out over the telephone, so it is not a million miles from that to serving it by Twitter.111
32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 15 Side B
The use of Twitter to serve notice makes perfect sense in a case like Blaneyâ€™s, where the only known way to reach an anonymous individual (at least temporarily) is through that personâ€™s own Twitter account. But what about fact scenarios that are closer to the type of case that LQVSLUHGLWDOOLQ$XVWUDOLD",Q0DUFKVROLFLWRU+LODU\7KRUSHZDVKDYLQJDGLIÂżFXOWWLPH VHUYLQJDGHEWRULQDFROOHFWLRQPDWWHU1HHGLQJWRÂżQGDZD\WREULQJWKHGHIHQGDQWSURSHUO\ before the court so that she could either obtain a judgment or have an appropriate vehicle WKURXJKZKLFKWRREWDLQGLVFRYHU\RIWKHGHEWRUÂśVÂżQDQFLDOUHFRUGV7KRUSHFLWHGWKHMKM ,QYHVWPHQWVcase in petitioning the Hastings County Court in East Sussex for service via Facebook, pointing out that all conventional means of service had been exhausted.112 Thorpe also detailed the defendant debtorâ€™s frequent visits to Facebook and reasons why substituted service through the social networking site would be appropriate. The court was persuaded by her argument, and she soon found herself logging onto Facebook to serve the court order. Thorpe considers the episode a success, saying â€œIt is great to see that the courts are willing to embrace new technology â€Ś . Being able to use Facebook [to serve the debtor] will certainly assist in the case and allow our client creditor the possibility to obtain further information to enforce the debt.â€?113 Serving an injunction via Twitter and a county court debtor through Facebook paved the way for a 2012 case that has been hailed as a â€œlandmark rulingâ€? by British DQG$PHULFDQPHGLD2Q)HEUXDU\WKH+LJK&RXUWDOORZHGIRUWKHÂżUVWWLPH in Britain, service of process via Facebook.114 The commercial litigation lawsuit â€” in which the Facebook service was allowed â€” features claims by investment manager AKO Capital that its brokerage, TFS Derivatives, overcharged it for commission payments for trades that were made (the alleged overcharges came to ÂŁ1.3 million ($2.1 million)).115 TFS denies the allegations, and maintains that if it is held liable, it should be allowed to recover at least part of the claimed amount from former employee Fabio de Biase (a GHULYDWLYHVQHJRWLDWRUZKRKDQGOHGWKHÂżUPÂśVUHODWLRQVKLSZLWK$.2 DVZHOODVIURP former AKO trader Anjam Ahmad.116 Both Ahmad and de Biase were found guilty of insider dealing in 2010, following a Financial Services Authority investigation. Ahmad was VHQWHQFHGWRPRQWKVLQMDLOVXVSHQGHGIRUWZR\HDUV DQGÂżQHGÂ…
110. Neil, supra note 106. 111. Out-law.com, supra note 108. 112. British Lawyer Uses Facebook to Serve Court Summons, THE TELEGR APH (Mar. 14, 2011), http:// www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8382570/British-lawyer-uses-Facebook-to-serve-courtsummons.html. 113. ,G 114. Chris Johnson, ,Q D 8. )LUVW +LJK &RXUW -XGJH Âł/LNHVÂ´ )DFHERRN IRU 6HUYLQJ /HJDO &ODLPV RQ Missing Defendant, A M . L AW DAILY (Feb. 21, 2012), http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2012/02/facebookclaimserve.html. 115. ,G 116. ,G
VOLUME 2, I SSUE 2
7/3/12 7:56 AM
This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.