Facebook Service in Lawsuits?


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Recently, a bill has been offered in the Texas legislature dealing with the possibility of service through social media sites such as Facebook. The idea is a compelling one and one that has been utilized in other countries such as Australia or Great Britain.

the bill, could serve to dramatically reduce the cost of service for many Texas litigants which can be a very positive thing for Texas. Anything that can reduce the cost of litigation is beneficial to everyone. However, there are real concerns about both privacy and effectiveness of the method of service.

While the bill itself is very succinct, and provides adequate protections, the real issue is this, will be recipient actually know that they have been served in a lawsuit. When someone walks up to the door and hands and official pleading or subpoena, and request a signature for the same, there is little doubt that the person has been “served”.

However, when something is posted to a social media sites such as Facebook it may be more difficult to actually document that they received the document in a manner calculated to give them fair notice of the lawsuit. Many Facebook users have thousands of friends and few actually read everything that is posted to their Facebook site.

I applaud the author of the new bill for his ingenuity and attempting to let Texas lead in an area that is destined to become part of our litigation landscape in the future.

About the author: Greg Baumgartner is a personal injury attorney with offices in Houston and Austin Texas.

42East Ave, Austin, Texas 78701 512-348-6768

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