You’ve been “superpoked” — and served. A court in Australia has approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan.
The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court last Friday approved lawyer Mark McCormack’s application to use Facebook to serve the legally binding documents after several failed attempts to contact the couple at the house and by e-mail.
Australian courts have given permission in the past for people to be served via e-mail and text messages when it was not possible to serve them in person.
“It’s somewhat novel, however we do see it as a valid method of bringing the matter to the attention of the defendant,” McCormack said.
In the ruling, Master David Harper insisted that the documents be attached to a private e-mail sent via Facebook that could not be seen by others visiting the pages.
McCormack said he found the woman’s Facebook page using personal details that she had given the lender including her birth date and e-mail address. The man was listed on her page as a friend.
Prior to Tuesday, neither had imposed security options that deny strangers access to their pages.
“It’s one of those occasions where you feel most at home. I myself have a Facebook account,” McCormack said.
Facebook has become a popular online hangout, attracting more than 140 million users worldwide since it launched in 2004. Facebook friends can “poke” or “superpoke” each other — terms for giving someone a playful nudge.