“You’ve been served.” Those are three words that usually carry with them a rather weighty tone. But don’t expect to see them creeping into your Facebook message inbox any time soon. A judge has ruled that serving defendants with legal papers notifying them that they’re being sued is not acceptable. The case in question revolves around a measly $1,243 credit card debt.
In the case, one Nicole Fortunato allegedly stole her mother’s identity in order to get a credit card, which she used to rack up $1,200 and change in charges. Her mom, Lorri Fortunato, sued Chase because she said she never applied for the card and never authorized the charges. She says she is estranged from her daughter, and doesn’t know where she is. The problem is, neither does Chase.
Trying to track her down has been difficult. They believe she lives in Hastings, New York, and the only “sighting” of her they’ve managed to achieve is her Facebook profile. So in a Manhattan court, Chase lawyers asked if they could serve her legal papers through her Facebook account. This practice has been accepted in other nations, but apparently not in the US. District Judge John Keenan said “service by Facebook is unorthodox to say the least,” noting that “anyone can make a Facebook profile using real, fake or incomplete information.”