The Texas Supreme Court recently announced that it will allow lawsuits to be served over Facebook, Twitter, email and other social media sites or technology when traditional means have failed.

The changes were made in accordance with S.B. 891 which called for an update to the rules in order to adapt to the changes in technology and use of social media platforms.  The new rules will take effect on December 31, 2020.

Under the new rules, courts have the ability to authorize service of a lawsuit electronically when service through the mail or hand delivery has failed.  However, before doing so, a court must consider whether there is sufficient evidence to show a defendant uses a social media profile frequently enough that it would be “reasonably effective” to serve them electronically.

Undoubtedly, this will invite healthy debate over what constitutes frequent use to meet the “reasonably effective” standard.  Luckily, even with this change in the Texas Rules of Procedure hand and registered or certified mail service are still the preferred methods of service.  One thing is for sure, the ability to serve a defendant via social media will add an interesting twist to people’s notifications, reactions and comments on their news feeds.

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