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Legal Papers Served Via Facebook

Yes, it’s stranger than fiction, but an Australian couple has been served with repossession papers on their home via social networking site Facebook. A lawyer in Canberra persuaded the judge to let him make the possibly unique move after other avenues of serving the papers had been exhausted.

After trying to serve papers in person at the house and by e-mail, and with the couple not turning up for a court appearance, the lawyer, Mark McCormack, found a Facebook page for the woman in the couple. With the other details she’d posted, including the fact that her partner was listed as one of her friends, he was able to argue in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court that he’d found the right person.

The court granted permission to serve the papers via Facebook, stipulating only that they be sent in a private mail, so others could not see them. The couple owe $67,000 on a loan.

McCormack told News Ltd.:

"It’s somewhat novel, however we do see it as a valid method of bringing the matter to the attention of a defendant."

"It’s one of those occasions where you feel most at home with what you know and I myself have a Facebook account."

"They weren’t available at their residence. They no longer worked at the place given in some documents as the last place of their employment."

Australian courts have previously allowed papers to be served by e-mail and text message.

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