Can’t Use Facebook To Serve Process

Last week we posted that NY state courts are permitting discovery of Facebook accounts in certain contexts.  This week, a federal court judge in the Southern District of New York rejected a request to use Facebook as an alternative means of serving process on a hard to find third-party defendant.  In Fortunato v. Chase Bank, Chase wanted to use Facebook to locate and serve the third-party defendant who had a history of providing inaccurate addresses.  Chase argued that this history prevented its investigators from locating the sought after third-party defendant through normal channels.  Although the judge agreed that service by normal means was impractical, he would not allow Chase to use Facebook to locate and serve the third-party defendant stating that Chase had not set forth any facts that would give the court some degree of certainty that the Facebook profile their investigator found was in fact maintained by the third-party defendant.  The court, instead, allowed service by publication in four local newspapers to cover areas where the third-party defendant had listed addresses.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please email Nicole at nbrown@wcmlaw.com.     

Fortunato v. Chase Bank USA