Facebook: Court Documents

New software automatically reaches out of the screen and handcuffs you to Facebook until the court documents arrive. Oh, alright, that’s a fib…

Oh, we love Nick Abrahams at Deacons. Well as much as one can love a lawyer šŸ˜›

Australian court serves documents via Facebook

The big question about Facebook is does it have any valuable commercial application? Well it seems that the courts have found one.

Today in what appears to be a first in Australia and perhaps the world, Master Harper of the ACT Supreme Court ordered that a default judgement could be served on defendants by notification on Facebook.

(more at Sydney Morning Herald)

Master Harper ordered that the defendants in the case could be validly served by the plaintiff sending a message by computer to the Facebook pages of both defendants informing them of the entry of and the terms of the judgement.

Australian courts are regarded as being amongst the most technologically advanced in the world, and this innovation goes to further that claim.


Nick Abrahams is a Partner and Sydney Office Chairman of law firm, Deacons

The big surprise is that a positive article has come out of Fairfax: Sydney Morning Herald on social networks. Less surprising is that it is from a leading lawyer, Nick Abrahams, …

Nickā€™s group won IT Law Firm of the Year in 2005 and were runners up in the expanded Technology, Media & Telecommunications category at the 2006 Law Awards.

He received a ā€œhighly recommendedā€ mention in the AsiaPacific Legal 500 and was recognised as a “leading lawyer” in Australian Legal Business magazine. Nick is on the Cyberspace Committee of the American Bar Association and is President of the Australian Communications & Media Law Association.

… expert in the field of social networks and virtual worlds. Actually come to think of it, it’s not that positive. I mean, not as positive as say, having your life saved by Facebook or pictures of puppies on MySpace. But better than the usual article on Facebook/MySpace/heritage media competitor is full of predators, paedophiles, hackers, false identities, credit card fraud, time wasters, stalkers and whatnot articles.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbesā„¢ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazineā„¢) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAgeā„¢). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

4 thoughts on “Facebook: Court Documents

  1. This is crap.

    There is no way to confirm receipt.

    There is no way to confirm identity and ownership of the account.

    They may as well toss the subpoena papers out the lawyers 30th floor office window and say….well it’s not our fault the defendant didn’t catch them.

    Serving notices regardless of how difficult is a matter of process that cant be just ignored for the sake of convenience.

    If someone is ‘evading’ being served then it’s up to the lawyers to be sneaky to serve rather than being lazy.

    This is something I would expect to hear about here in the USA no Australian law.

    Dean Collins

  2. @Dean, it’s not too bad – there’s always been methods of about that reliability for serving documents when nothing better is available. Compared with putting a notice in the newspaper or posting it on a board at the town hall, a Facebook private message has at least some chance of being received.

    Remember, too, that there’s oversight – you can’t just use this randomly, you have to convince a judge to permit it, that you’ve tried all the better methods first.

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