Leduc v. Roman, 2009 CanLII 6838 (ON S.C.),

  • February 20, 2009

Date: 2009-2-20 Docket: 06-CV-3054666PD3. D.M. Brown J. | Link

In this motor vehicle action the defendant, Janice Roman, appeals from the decision of Master Dash made August 14, 2008, dismissing her motion to compel production from the plaintiff, John Leduc, of all pages on his Facebook webpage (also called a Facebook profile). Although the profile was available publicly, the actual pages were only accessible by "friends". Master Dash adopted the first two steps: he ordered Mr. Leduc to preserve his Facebook postings and to deliver a supplementary affidavit of documents.  However, he dismissed the defendant's motion for production of all site materials as overly broad.  While I share the Master's concern about the breadth of the defendant's request, I think the court should have permitted the defendant to cross-examine on the supplementary affidavit of documents to learn what relevant content, if any, was posted on Mr. Leduc's Facebook profile.  To permit a party claiming very substantial damages for loss of enjoyment of life to hide behind self-set privacy controls on a website, the primary purpose of which is to enable people to share information about how they lead their social lives, risks depriving the opposite party of access to material that may be relevant to ensuring a fair trial." (para 35)