Bridget Freeland reports the latest in a judge’s order for a juror to consent to Facebook turning over his posts to the judge. California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal had already upheld the judge’s order.
A juror in a gang-related attempted-murder trial has sued the judge, claiming Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny violated his privacy by threatening to hold him in contempt unless he allows Facebook to give the defendant’s attorneys Facebook postings the juror made during the trial.
The plaintiff, Juror Number One, says in his federal complaint that Judge Kenny gave him until Valentine’s Day to “execute a consent form sufficient to satisfy the exception stated in Title 18, U.S.C. section 2702(b) allowing Facebook to supply the posting made by Juror No. 1 during trial.”
Juror 1 says the judge’s order violates his privacy and his right to avoid self-incrimination.
The complaint states: “During the criminal trial, while acting as jury foreperson, plaintiff posted on various occasions on his Facebook page to advise his friends that he was serving on jury duty. He occasionally posted updates that he was ‘still’ on jury duty and, on one occasion, posted a comment that he was bored during the presentation of cell phone record evidence.”
Five people were convicted and are still in jail, according to the complaint.
Juror 1 says that after the trial ended, “plaintiff and one or more other jurors from the criminal trial became Facebook ‘Friends.’ One of the other jurors ‘friended’ by plaintiff (‘Juror Number Five’) saw the postings plaintiff had made.
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