Rarely. New York courts have uniformly held that a defendant is not entitled to the blocked content of a plaintiff’s Facebook site by the mere existence of the site itself.
The defendants may not obtain discovery of blocked social media postings absent the existence of some articulable basis for believing that the private content is material and relevant to the plaintiff’s litigation claims, such as information giving rise to the belief that the blocked content “contradicts or conflicts with the plaintiff’s alleged restrictions, disabilities, losses or other claims.” Tapp v. NYS Urban Development, 102 A.D.3d 620 (1st Dep’t 2013). In the absence of such a factual predicate, the courts will deny the Facebook-related discovery.
Even when a factual predicate exists for the discovery of blocked social media, a defendant will still not be permitted access to a plaintiff’s private postings unless the discovery demand is limited to information that is truly material and relevant to the contested claims of the action. Kregg v. Maldonado, 98 A.D.3d 1289 (4th Dep’t 2012).
For defendants, there will often be no basis for seeking the disclosure or private social media postings during the early phase of a lawsuit.
John’s Practice Point: You should object in writing immediately when served with the pro forma discovery demand seeking disclosure from the plaintiff’s private social media sites. If you do not object within twenty days, you may waive the objection.
How can we help you become more awesome?
What if there was a book about law office systems, management and marketing that leaves no secrets behind?
A book that will give you systems for every aspect of your practice, so your law firm runs like a finely tuned sports car while you’re on vacation.
Yes, a book that Ben Glass, Esq., the nation’s leading marketing guru calls, “amazing”.
Now, for the first time ever, this book exists. The Power of a System: How to Build the Injury Law Practice of your Dreams is crammed full of 328 pages of cutting-edge, “you’ve never heard this before”, inside secrets about law office systems, management and practice and for only $26.99 it can be your’s (heck, we even rush the book to you by Federal Express for FREE if your order from our website, www.ultimateinjurylaw.com).
Now, go to the home page of www.ultimateinjurylaw.com and order your copy of The Power of a System. Let’s get started building the injury practice of your dreams NOW!
P.S.: And by the way, if you’re not absolutely thrilled with The Power of a System, just send it back to me. You’ll get your money back plus $25.00 just for reading my book (sounds crazy? Read the book!) No questions asked and no strings attached!