Can information ona social networking sitebe used in court?

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Can information ona social networking sitebe used in court?

Our neighbor is suing us because my sister went to hug her and she fell off a chair and supposedly hit her head in our garage. She is suing for injuries but prior to her deleting us on facebook we printed all of her statuses relating to injuries prior to the garage incident. She is suing for cluster headaches, post-concussion syndrome, neck/shoulder pain, and photo sensitivity. On her facebook statuses she complains about migraines and shoulder pain almost everyday before the accident and claims she had a concussion a month before. We think she is lying and suing us because she has no insurance.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, information from social networking sites *can* be used as evidence in court cases--and frequently is, in fact (e.g. it's used to show someone is not disabled, when they are claiming disability or worker's compensation, a use very similar to what you propose). There might have to be some evidence or testimony authenticating it, but your attorney will know how to do that  (if you are being sued, you definitely want an attorney representing you), but it is an accepted form of evidence.

Note also that someone falling off a chair in your home or garage does NOT by itself make you liable--there must be some fault on your part to be liable. The mere fact that someone is injured in your property does not automatically entitle that person to compensation. Since this may, from what you right, be a baseless lawsuit, you should discuss with your attorney whether there are any counterclaims you could pursue, or whether you could at least move the court to recover your legal fees from the neighbor--you want to provide her with a real disincentive to trying to move forward with this.


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