Most everyone in New York knows that social media sites like Facebook have
become increasingly popular over the past few years. As a matter of fact,
their popularity has led
child support enforcement agencies and district attorneys to monitor Facebook pages
to locate and gather information on non-custodial parents that are behind
in their payments. One such father is facing three felony charges as the
result of an incriminating Facebook picture of himself that he posted
where he is surrounded by a significant amount of cash.
Of course, authorities can't just hack into someone's Facebook
page. They must first gather enough information to warrant obtaining a
court order instructing Facebook to allow the petitioning agency access.
Once they are allowed access, they are free to gather whatever information
the subject's Facebook page offers.
That information can then be used in court as evidence against the owner
of the Facebook page. In this case, there is a possibility that the money
did not belong to the father in question. However, the man has not yet
appeared in court to respond to the charges against him.
Anyone involved in a family law dispute such as a child support action
whether in New York or any other estate may want to curtail their use
of social media sites like Facebook. People tend to believe that their
Facebook pages are private, but as illustrated by this case, they are
not. Further, it's not just private citizens that are using Facebook
posts and pictures as evidence in court; government agencies are now doing the same.
Source: ABC News, "Facebook Money Pics Bust Dad for Allegedly Dodging Child Support," Alexa Valiente, March 22, 2013