mobile menu

Florida appellate court denies Facebook fishing expedition

Firm attorney Nicholas W. Morcom shares insight regarding how litigants are increasingly seeking discovery into social media sites, including Facebook. The fact that a party may have relevant evidence on a social media site, however, does not entitle other parties to obtain unlimited access to such sites.

In Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction, 132 So. 3d 867 (Fla.2d DCA 2014), the defendant sought extensive information concerning plaintiff?s Facebook account. The trial court compelled the plaintiff to produce Facebook postings, status updates, photos, “likes” and videos related to plaintiff?s children and other family members, as well as her mental health history. The plaintiff petitioned for writ of certiorari. The Second District Court of Appeal granted the writ and quashed the trial court?s order because defendant?s discovery requests sought documents unrelated to the complaint or any affirmative defense.

This case demonstrates that while the evidence requested during litigation may change, courts will continue to consider whether discovery requests (i) seek relevant, non-privileged information or (ii) amount to an overly broad “fishing expedition.”

Follow us on LinkedIn for more content updates