A solicitor has used Facebook to serve a court summons, apparently for the first time in the UK. The summons was served on a debtor, showing the social network can now help you to, then force you into court when you can no longer afford to pay your bills. Thanks, Facebook.
Hilary Thorpe, of Gaby Hardwicke solicitors, had exhausted all conventional means of contacting the debtor in question, before applying to Hastings County Court in East Sussex for permission to use the social-networking site. The court granted permission after it was shown that the defendant frequently visited .
Thorpe hatched the scheme after remembering a similar Australian case in 2008, in which a Canberra lawyer successfully used Facebook to serve legally binding documents on a couple who'd lost their home after defaulting on a loan.
"It is great to see that the courts are willing to embrace new technology," said Thorpe. "We have had great trouble serving the debtor in question. Being able to use Facebook to do so will certainly assist in the case and allow our client creditor the possibility of obtaining further information to enforce the debt."
We're guessing the debtor isn't so thrilled. What do you think? Is this a step forward for justice or just another example of how a Facebook account can cause you a right old headache and no mistake? Let us know in the tried-and-convicted comments section below, or on our legally dubious Facebook wall.