Case Report – Motion for listing of Facebook records dismissed

23 Apr

On April 14th, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a motion for an order requiring three plaintiffs in a personal injury action to list the current content of their Facebook and MySpace pages.

Master Haberman took issue with the timing of the motion, which she heard a month before a fixed trial date and almost three years after the matter was set down for trial. She held that she had no jurisdiction to make an order that was certain to interfere with the fixed trial date and, in any event, would not have granted leave in the circumstances. She rejected the defendant’s claim that the February 2009 decision in Leduc v. Roman (summarized here) brought about a “substantial change” which justified leave to conduct pre-trial discovery and held that there was no evidence that proceeding without disclosure of the requested information would cause an injustice.

Master Haberman also held, in obiter, that the request for disclosure from the injured plaintiff’s family members, who had claimed only for loss of care and companionship under the Family Law Act was improper.  She said, “Before Leduc can be invoked, there must be something to suggest at least some possible connection between the matters in issue and the documents sought.”

Kent v. Laverdiere, 2009 CanLII 16741 (ON S.C.).

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