Caselaw Precedent

2011 Cases

  • State of Connecticut v. Eleck

    23 A.3d 818 (2011)

    Defendant was involved in an altercation in which two people were injured. He claimed that certain Facebook evidence should have been admissible, and that he was only found guilty because it was excluded. Defendant argued that the Facebook account was authentic, but the state witness claimed that her account was hacked and that she did not write the comments at issue. The court ruled to exclude the Facebook printouts, citing Federal Rule of Evidence 901.

  • Griffin v. State

    419 Md. 343 (2011)

    Introduced the “Maryland Approach” under which one must affirmatively disprove the existence of a different creator in order for the evidence to be admissible. Court suggests that greater scrutiny may be required for social media authentication “because of the heightened possibility for manipulation by other than the true user or poster.

  • Commonwealth v. Purdy

    459 Mass. 442 (2011)

    In which social media evidence including emails were used to convict defendant of deriving support from the earnings of a prostitute. Defendant argued that the authorship of the emails was not proven. Court found that a judge making a determination concerning the authenticity of a communication sought to be introduced into evidence can look to confirming circumstances that would allow a reasonable jury to conclude the evidence is what the proponent claims it to be.

  • Offenback v. L.M. Bowman, Inc.

    No. 1:10-CV-1789 (M.D. Pa. 2011)

    In which the court ordered the plaintiff to produce certain portions of his private Facebook account containing potentially relevant information that may contradict the extent of his alleged damages.

  • People v. Valdez

    201 Cal. App. 4th 1429 (2011)

    The defendant was convicted of murder and numerous other charges. Case involved a challenge to a trial exhibit consisting of printouts of defendant’s MySpace page which the prosecution relied on in forming its opinion that defendant was an active gang member. Defendant argued that the trial court erroneously admitted the evidence as it was not properly authenticated. The court in this case disagreed and held that the threshold authentication burden for admissibility is not to establish validity or negation in a categorical manner, but rather to make a showing upon which the trier of fact could reasonably conclude that the evidence offered is authentic.

  • Patterson v. Turner Construction Co.

    88 A.D. 3d 617, 618 (2011)

    In which the court held that, social media postings, “if relevant, are not shielded from discovery merely because plaintiff used the server’s privacy settings to restrict access, just as relevant matter from a personal diary is discoverable.”

  • Manuel v. State

    357 S.W.3d 66 (Tex. Ct. App. 2011)

    In which the court relied on FRE 901(b)(4) and the reply-letter doctrine to conclude that the trial court properly admitted electronic communications that Manuel allegedly sent via MySpace and Facebook because “a reasonable factfinder could find that [Manuel] sent the electronic communications attributed to him by the State and depicted in the challenged exhibits”.

  • Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc.

    No. CV-09-1535 (Pa. Com. Pl. 2011)

    In which the court permitted discovery of photos and other non-public material from social networking sites where the materials contained information that the defendant felt was relevant in ascertaining the mental and physical state of plaintiff as a result of a workplace injury.

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