Fawcett v. Altieri

RICHMOND COUNTY
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Justice Joseph Maltese

Defendants moved and cross-moved to compel production of social media records of John Fawcett Jr. in this action to recover for personal injuries he allegedly sustained during an altercation with Nicholas Altieri at a tennis match. Defendants claimed Fawcett's social media accounts were not publicly viewable, but that Fawcett placed his physical condition in controversy, thus could not shield disclosable material from discovery. Fawcett's bill of particulars stated his injuries would continue to effect him socially, educationally, economically and in the way he pursued future recreation. However, the court noted that on the facts presented, depositions must be conducted before it could properly decide if Fawcett should be compelled to produce social media records, or if defendants should be precluded from accessing this information. It noted absent facts the person disclosed some information on the subject matter of the pending lawsuit, granting carte blanche discovery of Fawcett's social media records was "tantamount to a costly, time-consuming fishing expedition, which the courts ought not condone." Thus, it denied the motion and cross-motion with leave to renew after completion of depositions.

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