When Your Social Media Presence Can be Used Against You in a Foreign State as a Basis for Personal Jurisdiction

Merriam-Webster defines “social media” as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”  Individuals and businesses are increasingly turning to social networking sites — i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube (among others) — to interact with clients and customers.

Jurisdiction

As a result of the proliferation of people and companies making use of social media accounts, more and more courts throughout the United States are being asked to consider when a party’s social media presence can provide a sufficient basis for establishing personal jurisdiction over a party.  Federal courts sitting in New Jersey and elsewhere have recently considered this very issue.  Individuals and businesses using social media would be well-served to understand the holding of this case, which sets forth when a New Jersey Court will exercise jurisdiction over a party because of how it uses social media.

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