Texas Will Soon Allow Substituted Service via Social Media
Probably not what Zuckerberg had in mind when he created Facebook. Or was it the Winklevoss twins? I need to go back and re-watch The Social Network.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
Sec. 17.033. SUBSTITUTED SERVICE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.
(a) If substituted service of citation is authorized under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the court, in accordance with the rules adopted by the supreme court under Subsection (b), may prescribe as a method of service an electronic communication sent to the defendant through a social media presence.
(b) The supreme court shall adopt rules to provide for the substituted service of citation by an electronic communication sent to a defendant through a social media presence.
Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 10.04(a), eff. June 1, 2020.
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
Pending Amended Rule 106
Texas Supreme Court orders amended Rule 106 take effect December 31, 2020.
The current proposed amendment, which could be changed before December 31, 2020 reads in pertinent part as follows:
RULE 106. METHOD OF SERVICE
(b) Upon motion supported by statement—sworn to before a notary or made under penalty of perjury—listing any location where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under (a)(1) or (a)(2) at the location named in the statement but has not been successful, the court may authorize service: (1) by leaving a copy of the citation, and of the petition, with anyone older than sixteen at the location specified in the statement; or (2) in any other manner, including electronically by social media, email, or other technology, that the statement or other evidence shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.
Comment to 2020 Change: Rule 106 is revised in response to section 17.033 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which calls for rules to provide for substituted service of citation by social media. Amended Rule 106(b)(2) clarifies that a court may, in proper circumstances, permit service of citation electronically by social media, email, or other technology. In determining whether to permit electronic service of process, a court should consider whether the technology actually belongs to the defendant and whether the defendant regularly uses or recently used the technology.