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Deadbeat parents can’t hide: Legal papers now delivered through Facebook

Things evolve. I can remember in the early days of Facebook when we were satisfied to just reach out to old friends, or share a photo. But these days, Facebook has become a hub for advertisers, marketers, news sources, philanthropic causes and other groups (in addition to that "throwback" use we all joined to experience, socializing).

So, will there be an immediate impact that results from this ruling? According to Louisiana attorney Jennifer Matte, who specializes in family law, "The NY ruling will have no immediate legal effect in other jurisdictions at this time. Surely, it will enlighten other courts on potential means of procuring service upon individuals who intentionally make themselves unavailable to sidestep the law. In the NY case, it appears that service was attempted by all avenues, through law enforcement and by a private process server, which would be necessary prior to any other means in Louisiana."

So for now (unless you've been dodging court papers for some time), there is no precedent in place that you could reasonably expect to served papers via Facebook - at least for the time being.

Could Facebook come to serve as a vehicle to regularly serve legal papers in the future? Matte added, "In time, the people’s voices to their elected officials would determine [via legislature] the conducive changes appropriate with increasing technology and social media."

With the potential uses of social media growing faster than ever, it is easy to get a little worried about your own privacy. Do we really want to be that accessible to the world?

"I advise and caution my clients of the pervasive dangers associated with frolicking about the Internet," explained Matte. She added, "Experts and neophytes are equipped to tap into your information, habits and whereabouts that can be misconstrued by the best legal minds. If in doubt, don’t!"

As they say on airplanes that reach cruising altitudes, "you are now free to move about the cabin." But, as you do choose to participate in social media sites like Facebook, be aware that there is the potential for surprises, turbulence, and even danger ahead.

Just ask Anna Maria Antigua.

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