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Flowers v. City of New York Appellate Division, First Department 2017 NY Slip Op 05040 Decided on June 20, 2017

July 19, 2017 • Posted By Joseph A. French • Complex Litigation

The City appealed a Bronx Supreme Court Order that denied the City’s motion to compel discovery.

Following an execution of a search warrant plaintiff alleged he had been wrongfully arrested and prosecuted.  At his deposition, he denied using aliases or nicknames.  Issues developed over certain Facebook pages attributable to person using the name “Moe” or which incorporated “Moe” into other names, e.g., “Moejobrim Moejo”.  Plaintiff did not deny he was the account holder for the “Moe” Facebook pages.

The Court ruled that by providing Facebook evidence of the pages where “Moe” seemed connected to Moe, the City made a threshold showing that examination of the above Facebook accounts will result in the disclosure of relevant evidence bearing on the claim”.  Plaintiff was then “directed to review and provide or permit access to those Facebook and associated Messenger accounts, including their messenger components, and any deleted materials which contain any information connecting plaintiff to the accounts in question, connecting him to any variation of the nickname “Moe”, or relevant to his claims that he has had no connection to the apartment searched or the contraband located thereat”.  He was also directed to provide an authorization allowing the City an opportunity to photographs and “metadata” related to the photographs.

Thus, with this decision, the Court indicated it willingness to consider compelling social media discovery provided proper detailed evidence is established in support of the motion seeking the information.