Court Rejects Access to Plaintiff's Facebook Profile

    May 26, 2011

    In Piccolo v. Paterson , a Bucks County Common Pleas Court judge issued a one-paragraph order denying an insurance company’s motion to compel a car accident victim to accept a friend request providing full access to her Facebook page, reports.  

    After testifying in her deposition that she had a Facebook account, the insurance company asked permission to send a “neutral friend request” to review her Facebook postings and photographs.  When counsel denied her request, the insurance company moved to compel access to her online information by asking the Court to require the plaintiff to provide access to her Facebook page.

    In response to the motion, plaintiff argued that she had already provided sufficient information and photographs from before, during, and after the accident:

    Defendant [ ] has not made a prima facie showing of need for access to the non-public pages of [plaintiff’s] Facebook account. . .  She has all the photographs she can reasonably use from every different period before and after the accident and she has not asserted that there is likely to be any text in the non-public postings that is material or will likely lead to the discovery of material evidence.

    The Court agreed, and denied the insurance companies’ motion to compel without providing an opinion setting forth the reasoning behind the decision.

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