Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Criminal Court Decision by Judge Nealon of Lackawanna County Provides Further Support for Facebook Civil Court Discovery Standard


Every once in a while a criminal court Opinion can potentially have an impact on an issue of importance in civil litigation matters.

One such Opinion may be found in the decision of Lackawanna County Judge Terrence R. Nealon in the criminal court case of Commonwealth v. Pal, No. 13-CR-2269  , 2014 WL 1042276 (C.P. Lacka. Co. March 14, 2014).

On pages 27-34 of this Opinion, Judge Nealon relied upon Pennsylvania civil court Facebook decisions (and in particular, the ruling that information posted on the public portion of a person's Facebook pages may serve as the basis for allowing discovery of the private pages) to review issues raised on the issue of the seizure of Facebook records pursuant to a search warrant.

By analogy, this criminal court decision by Judge Nealon may offer further support for the civil court standard of review relevant to the question of whether discovery of a person's private Facebook pages will be permitted.

The Commonwealth v. Pal decision by Judge Nealon can be reviewed HERE

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