Australian Family Court Allows Elusive Father to Be Served with Child Support Case Through … Facebook

Australian Mother and Father conceive a child.

Their relationship is short-lived.

Father leaves the area.

Mother repeatedly attempts to contact Father, both through letters to his parents and letters to his new girlfriend.

Father, inferring that Mother is seeking child support, makes no response.

Mother is left with no option but to sue Father for child support.

But how can Mother serve Father if she can’t find Father (in the flesh)?

Well, in this particular instance, Father is active on the social networking site Facebook.

Under the circumstances, the Australian Court enters an order permitting Mother to have the elusive Father served with legal process via Facebook. The Court supports its ruling by simply acknowledging current technology in widespread use, and used in actuality by the intended recipient of service.

Shortly after Mother’s attorney forwards the legal documents to Father via Facebook, Father closes his Facebook account and also takes down his MySpace website.

Certainly sounds like Father has received Mother’s legal papers.

This case from Down Under should not be interpreted as approving electronic service of process in all US states or in all cases.

But it does go to show that, under the proper circumstances, in specific cases, courts are more and more likely to authorize service of process via e-mail and/or via social networking websites.

Read more in this Times of India news article: Legal notice can be sent via Facebook too and this University of Richmond Law School Law Review article: Superpoked and Served: Service of Process via Social Networking Sites.