Advice Regarding Internet Usage During Litigation

Anyone dealing with a court case needs to take some basic precautions when using the internet. Litigants should understand that anything you post online can be used against you at a trial.

  • Use care in checking whom all electronic communications are being sent to (e-mail, text messages, Facebook messages, web chats). For example, be sure that you do not hit “reply all” on an e-mail or group text message.
  • Know that the other party could potentially use your Google/Bing search and browsing history in court. Use discretion when searching for things online.
  • Do not blog about anything related to the litigation, and do not provide excessive details about your life/decisions in a blog.
  • Understand that anything you post on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, etc. could be discovered by opposing counsel. In a divorce action, all parties are restrained from selling marital property in any manner. Do not place any posting in an online marketplace without first consulting your attorney.
  • Do not visit any adult websites while your case is pending.
  • Do not join any dating site while your divorce case is pending, including but not limited to the following: E-harmony, Match.com, etc.
  • Anything posted on your social media sites can be used against you at trial.
  • You must tell the truth about  employment and work history on websites such as LinkedIn, as any statements on that website contrary to  testimony in court could be used against you.
  • Do not allow automatic uploads from mobile devices to Google+ or any other similar website.
  • Do not post anything related to your case on Twitter. Be mindful of all Twitter postings, even if they are not directly related to the issues in your case, as they can be used to show poor decision-making, where you were at a certain time, who you interact with, etc.
  • Do not allow others to post on your behalf on any internet site.
  • Do not post pictures or any comments about your case on Facebook.
  • Make no comments about the other party on any internet website.
  • It would be a good idea to get a new, secure e-mail address with a password that the other party cannot guess.
  • Only communicate with your attorney via a secure e-mail account, and do not allow any other person access to that account at any time or under any circumstances.
  • Only use secure computers and electronic devices.
  • Put a passcode lock on all mobile/electronic devices.
  • It would be a good idea to have an expert check the security on all mobile/electronic devices.
  • Litigants are forbidden from destroying evidence. Therefore, do not “delete” any Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, dating profile or other social media site. You may, however, deactivate these accounts so there are no new postings during your case.
  • If the other party has your password to any account, you have implicitly given him/her authorization to access that account.
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