Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Magistrate Judge Carlson of Federal Middle District Offers Up Guiding Principles for Social Media Discovery


In the case of Landau v. Lamas, 3:15 – CV - 1327 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 15, 2017 Carlson, M.J.)(Mem. Op.), Federal Magistrate Judge Carlson discussed "Guiding Principles" for social media discovery under the general mandates of F.R.C.P. 26 pertaining to permitted discovery efforts. 

This case arises out of a Section 1983 civil rights suit by a prison inmate.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff motioned to compel what the court described as "extremely intrusive inquiry" into the Defendant's social media pages. 

The Court denied the motion to compel to the extent the motion sought "wholesale access to electronic social media.”  However, the Court allowed the Plaintiff to attempt to craft more specifically tailored discovery requests.

The Court also directed the defense to preserve all social media content from the relevant time period and to make inquiries regarding any social media that may have been deleted.  The defense was also told to voluntarily produce relevant social media content in accordance with the requirements of F.R.C.P. 26.  The defense was also ordered to specify what content was being withheld and to state why it was being withheld.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision, may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Brian Murren of the Camp Hill, PA office of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin for bringing this case to my attention.

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