Australian police serve court order by Facebook

VIDEO: Except of intervention order posted on YouTube
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Australian police served a court order on an man via the social networking giant Facebook.

Cops in the state of Victoria were granted approval to use the unusual method after attempts to serve the order via traditional means, in person and via post, had been unsuccessful.

"He'd left his previous address, phone numbers weren't any good... so I applied with a magistrate to have the order served by Facebook," said Leading Senior Constable Stuart Walton.

The police sent court documents via private message and recorded a video message serving the order and posted the video on the man's Facebook profile. While not responding to the messages, the man later confirmed he had received the order and would delete his Facebook profile.

The police also said that the woman subject to threats via Facebook was satisfied with the outcome. Leading Senior Constable Walton said that he was unable to work with Facebook and described the web giant as "complex and bureaucratic."

A 2008 precedent was set in Australia when a court allowed lawyers to serve legal orders via Facebook, having earlier that year also granted the ability to serve a subpoena via text message.

"In this instance we were able to deliver justice through the same medium as the crime committed," said Leading Senior Constable Stuart Walton.

"Police will always pursue traditional means to enforce the law and to protect the community, but we won't shy away from innovative methods to achieve positive outcomes either."

Around 40 per cent of Australia's 22.5 million population have Facebook accounts.

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