As technology continues to emerge in new ways, so does crafty thinking. Some lawyers and judges in countries such as Canada and New Zealand are now permitting and even encouraging service of legal documents through the popular networking site, Facebook.
Subsequent to several unsuccessful attempts at service, an Australian
court recently allowed legal counsel for a mortgage lender to use Facebook
for service of foreclosure documents after the homeowners defaulted on
their loan. Once the bank demonstrated to the court that the defendants
were indeed the ones represented on their Facebook page, the bank served
notice. When the recipient promptly changed their privacy settings “within
a day” of the bank sending the notice, the court deemed the service
as being successful. The bank won their case.
Although courts have rules about more traditional methods of service being
used via mail and hand delivery, Facebook service in the United States
isn’t far off on the horizon as some courts are getting more astute
in adopting “alternate service” methods.
A judge in a 2006 case in New York federal court allowed plaintiff attorneys
to email a summons to a defendant after finding out that the email address
had been previously published in a classified ad. Alaska, on the other
hand, already permits service through newspaper publication if service
by other means has not been successful.
So perhaps in Colorado we too will soon start to see a combination of
the old versus the new as courts and attorneys band together to effectuate
good service on sneaky defendants.