Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another Facebook Discovery Case Out of Franklin County

Tort Talkers may recall that, a few weeks ago, I reported on the Franklin Court of Common Pleas Facebook discovery case of Largent v. Reed, 2009 – Civil – 1823 (Nov. 7, 2011) in which Judge Richard J. Walsh of that court directed a plaintiff to allow access to his Facebook page to defense counsel in a personal injury case.

Now, more recently, in another Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Facebook case entitled Arcq v. Fields, No. 2008 – Civil – 2430 (C.P. Franklin Co. Dec. 7, 2011 Herman, J.), Judge Douglas W. Herman of that court denied a defendant access to a plaintiff’s Facebook page in a personal injury case.

The court noted that the difference in the more recent Arcq case was that the defense admittedly had no good faith basis to rest such a motion to compel upon where the defense offered up no support for the contention that the plaintiff’s private Facebook pages contained information relevant to this litigation.

More specifically, the Arcq court stated that there was still a question as to whether or not the plaintiff even had a Facebook page or other social media pages. The court also emphasized that the defendant in this case had not established that it had even viewed any public pages of any alleged Facebook page for the plaintiff containing any information relevant to the litigation.

As such, the court denied the defendant’s motion to compel as a foundation for a request for a court order in this regard had not been established.

Anyone desiring a copy of the Arcq v. Fields case may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

To view the other previous Tort Talk posts on Social Media discovery issues, click here.

I send thanks to Ben Present, a writer with The Legal Intelligencer/Pennsylvania Law Weekly for tipping me off on this case by way of his December 20, 2011 article "Plaintiffs Score a Pair of Wins in Social Media Decisions." (The other "win" he discussed was Luzerne County Judge Van Jura's opinion in the Kalinowski v. Kirschenheiter case.).

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