Virginia Personal Injury Attorney | Service by Social Media Approved

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.


Many of us practically live our lives through social media, and in a recent Virginia case, WhosHere, Inc. v. Orun, the Alexandria U.S. District Court has approved service via Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. In 2009, plaintiff WhosHere, Inc. launched an app that allows its users to see other uses within the same vicinity. Plaintiff is suing Gokhan Orun who has a business named "WhoNear" and "whonearme," both of which infringe on the WhosHere trademark.

The plaintiff first attempted service through the Turkish Ministry of Justice under Rule 4(f)(1) which outlines the process for service abroad for civil matters. Service failed after the Ministry returned the summons and complaint to the U.S. Office of Foreign Litigation because defendant could not be found at the address provided by the plaintiff.

The Court finally allowed service under Rule 4(f)(3), which allows service by email and social networking sites. This is one rare example of how the justice system is taking a lead in responding to the ever-changing technology landscape.