Court Allows First Order By Verifying Facebook Accounts In Australia

Posted Dec 17, 2008

Usually when people are summoned to court, they are usually sent subpoena physical documents or even e-mails.  In one rare case, Sonny Bill Williams was sent a text message subpoena while he was in France.  But now it has been reported that The Supreme Court of the ACT in Australia has accepted the first court order made by verifying contact information through Facebook as a legal binding document.

Carmela Rita Corbo and Gordon Kingsley Maxwell Poyser defaulted on a $164,000 loan needed to refinance for their townhouse.  Master David Harper of the ACT allowed attorneys from MKM Capital to launch the Facebook subpoena campaign.  Mark McCormack and Jason Oliver are the lawyers that suggested the unique way of approaching subpoenas.

Mark McCormack attempted to service documents on the two defendants eleven times with no response.  McCormack, who has his own Facebook profile persuaded the court to allow him to check the Facebook pages of the two defendants.  It turns out that e-mails sent to the two defendants were connected to their Facebook profile.  The two defendants Facebook profiles were geniune because they had the right date of birth and they were friends with each other.

“The Facebook profiles showed the defendants’ dates of birth, email addresses and friend lists – and the co-defendants were friends with one another,” stated one of the lawyers.  “This information was enough to satisfy the court that Facebook was a sufficient method of communicating with the defendants.”

Since the two defendants deliberately ignored the previous subpoenas, they were forced to pay up the amount owed.  Should Facebook really be used as evidence to decide court orders?  I’ll let you be the judge of that.