Caselaw Precedent

2012 Cases

  • Bradley v. State

    359 S.W.3d 912 (2012)

    The victim of an armed robbery identified his assailants through photos on Facebook that were publicly available. In its opinion denying Bradley’s appeal, the court noted that, “Vast online photo databases, like Facebook, and relatively easy access to them will undoubtedly play an ever-increasing role in identifying and prosecuting suspects.”

  • State v. Assi

    No. 1 CA-CR 10-0900, (Ariz.Ct.App. Aug. 21, 2012)

    Defendant was accused of involvement in a gang, and information from a MySpace page allegedly belonging to defendant was proffered as evidence. Defendant argued that the MySpace photos and posts lacked a proper foundation. Court noted that evidence needed to be provided, “from which the jury could reasonably conclude that the evidence is authentic”. In this particular case, the court found that proper authenticating evidence was provided.

  • Griffin v. Bell

    694 F.3d 817 (7th Cir. 2012)

    Court affirms exclusion of video of altercation in question from trial where party offering it was unable to authenticate it.

  • EEOC v. Honeybaked Ham Co.

    No. 1:2011cv02560 - Document 241 (D. Colo. 2012)

    An employment discrimination case in which a federal magistrate judge ordered the production of social media account passwords, and voluminous social media, finding that as the information had been voluntarily shared with others, it should be produced.

  • Campbell v. State

    382 S.W.3d 545, 551 (Tex. Ct. App. 2012)

    The defendant was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and during the trial, Texas presented Facebook messages allegedly sent to the victim by the defendant as evidence. Here, the court held that the victim’s testimony was sufficient to authenticate the Facebook messages, finding that there was prima facie evidence such that a reasonable jury could have found that the Facebook messages were created by the defendant, but did note that electronic communications are particularly susceptible to fabrication and manipulation). In Campbell, the court noted two particular concerns associated with authenticating social media evidence: First, because any person could establish a profile under any name, the person viewing a profile would have no way of knowing for certain whether the profile was legitimate; and second, because Facebook accounts can be accessed by anyone with the account’s username and password, a person viewing communications from a particular account cannot be certain that the author is the actual owner of the profile.

  • Smoot v. State

    729 S.E.2d 416 (2012)

    In which defendant was convicted of drug possession and prostitution, and as part of their investigation, the police advertisements allegedly posted on various social media websites by defendant.Smoot also argues that the trial court erred in admitting the social media evidence because the State failed to lay a proper foundation for its admission and because the content constituted inadmissible hearsay. The court disagreed, and noted that as a general rule, a writing will not be admitted into evidence unless the offering party tenders proof of the authenticity or genuineness of the writing. There is no presumption of authenticity, and the burden of proof rests upon the proffering party to establish a prima facie case for submission of electronic computer sources, which are subject to the same rules of authentication as other documents.

  • Richards v. Hertz Corp.

    100 A.D.3d 728 (2012)

    In which plaintiff was ordered to produce all portions of Facebook profile for in camera review after the defendant found Facebook photographs showing the plaintiff snow skiing, contradiction her deposition testimony that the car accident at issue caused her to feel pain in cold weather and impair her ability to play sports.

  • Davenport v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co.

    No. 3:11-cv-00632-J-JBT (M.D. Fla. 2012)

    A case in which the plaintiff’s physical condition and quality of life were at issue, and plaintiff was ordered to produce all photographs depicting her taken after the date of the accident in question, and posted to a social media site, regardless of who posted them.

  • Reid v. Ingerman Smith LLP

    No. CV 2012-0307 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)

    In which the court held that a law firm sued by a legal secretary for harassment was entitled to private postings to plaintiff’s social posts on publicly available pages that contradicted plaintiff’s claims of mental anguish resulting from harassment.

  • Targonski v. City of Oak Ridge

    No. 3:11-cv-269 (E.D. Tenn. 2012)

    In which the court ultimately denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment, but did not that social media evidence from sites like plaintiff's Facebook page was considered “very enticing” in the court’s view.

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