MARCH 2016


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New Media & the Courts Resources


Delaware Courts unveil new mobile-friendly website
Sean O'Sullivan, Chief of Community Relations
State of Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts

The Delaware Judiciary has unveiled a new, fully responsive website for the Delaware State Court system. The site is designed to be more visually appealing and more user-friendly, particularly for those who use the site on mobile devices. All content from the old website is available on the new site, but is better indexed and organized to make information easier to find. New search capabilities have also been incorporated. Four new portals – public, attorneys, media and those called for jury duty – display the most commonly used and requested information for each group in one place. 

Missouri judiciary launches “Track This Case”

Logging onto – Missouri’s online access to information in the state’s case management system is a lot easier thanks to its new feature, “Track This Case.” The feature allows the public to be notified by e-mail about docket activity of a particular case. E-mail notices are sent once daily and include docket entries made the previous day in the tracked case. If a case becomes confidential, notifications end.

12-year-old in trouble for posting three violent emojis

A 12-year-old girl from Fairfax, Virginia, is facing criminal charges for a violent message she sent on Instagram. The middle-schooler posted "meet me in the library on Tuesday 🔫 🔪 💣" using another student's name. The use of the gun, knife, and bomb emoji resulted in the girl being charged with threatening her school and computer harrassment. She is awaiting a trial in juvenile court. According the the Washington Post, the girl's mother says the post was "a response to being bullied at school and wasn't meant to be taken seriously."

Illegal activity + social media = prosecution

A serious question is generating a serious debate in Colorado: if you break the law and no one is watching, does it still count? Videographer Michael Dalton recorded himself running four stop signs and claims he did so unintentionally despite the fact he posted the video on Facebook. Even though no one actually saw him break the law, Sgt. Andy Leibbrand with the Woodland Park Police Department said, "If you're posting stuff on Facebook or any social media for that matter, it's illegal. Don't expect something not to happen."

Hacked Facebook messages admissible in court

A South African High court recently ruled that a civil litigant’s private Facebook messages were admissible as evidence against him. In the case, Harvey v. Niland, the litigants were from the same corporation. The defendant, Niland, left his employer on bad terms, but remained a member of the corporation. Harvey filed an order against him to prevent Niland from contacting the corporation’s existing clients for his new employer. According to the Social Media Law Bulletin, “The employer’s complaint succeeded on the basis of private Facebook communications between Niland and the customers which Harvey had accessed by obtaining Niland’s username and password from another employee."

Social media tip of the monthDon't be a robot

Yes, robots are cool, but when courts are conversing on social media, they really shouldn't act like one. 

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Please e-mail Deirdre Roesch.