Saturday, January 13, 2018

Precedent-Setting New York Case Allows Facebook Page Access

A respected White Plains, New York, attorney, Gordon Burrows handles a wide range of litigation issues in family and matrimonial law. Among Gordon Burrows’ noteworthy cases was a 2015 custody ruling in which social media disclosure was admitted, through Facebook page access, within the court decision.

As reported in the New York Post, the case centered on Anthony DiMartino’s court battle with his estranged wife Christina Antoine over physical custody of their 4-year-old son. Having spent a majority of the time raising the boy over his first years, the social worker was described by his attorney as “primary caregiver.”

Represented by Mr. Burrows, Mr. DiMartino successfully argued that perusal of his wife’s Facebook page would show that she had frequently been out of state traveling while he was at home and caring for the child. Publicly accessible portions of the private account showed pictures of the wife’s vacations in Boston and Florence, Italy.

In allowing Facebook materials as evidence, Justice Lawrence Ecker of the Westchester County Supreme Court made a precedent-setting decision, noting that such information could be material and relevant in the ultimate custody determination. This use of social media within a court setting was the first of its kind statewide, although a Minnesota judge had previously allowed its use on certain occasions.