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Judge Orders Exchange of Facebook and Dating Website Passwords in Custody Fight

Posted Nov 8, 2011 12:25 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Connecticut judge has ordered lawyers representing a divorcing couple to exchange passwords to their clients’ Facebook and dating websites.

Judge Kenneth Schluger ordered the password exchange in the divorce of Stephen and Courtney Gallion, according to the Forbes blog The Not-So Private Parts. The judge cautioned in a Sept. 30 order that the exchange should be carried out by the lawyers, and neither spouse may post messages purporting to be the other.

Stephen Gallion’s lawyer, Gary Traystman, told the blog his client believes the social networking accounts will provide evidence about Courtney Gallion’s ability to take care of their children. Stephen Gallion is arguing for full custody.

According to the story, other judges have issued similar orders. “In ‘normal’ discovery, a litigant is usually asked to turn over ‘responsive material,’ not the keys to access all that material and more,” the story says, “but it seems that judges are applying different standards to social networking accounts.”

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