The Limits of Social Media Discovery

In In re: Cook Med., Inc., IVC Filters Mktg., Sales Practices & Prod. Liab. Litig., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149915 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 15, 2017), the court addressed the defendants’ motion to compel the plaintiff to produce her Facebook profile and various posts in native file format though she had already produced them in PDF. The court held that the defendant would be required to make a showing of its need for the metadata in the native file of any particular post.
The court also addressed the scope of the defendants’ social media request. It firmly held that the requesting party does not have an unfettered right to rummage through the responding party’s social media,” without a showing of relevance and appropriate limits on content and time period. Additionally, the court in a footnote regarding the demand for passwords “struggle[d] to see how such staggering access [to the plaintiff’s private accounts] would be proportional to the needs of the case.”
The bottom line, postings that are directly relevant to your claims are discoverable, whether you posted “privately” or not.
However there are limits!