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Florida Fourth DCA upholds trial court discovery order requiring alleged hit-and-run driver defendant in wrongful death case to turn over copies of all social media accounts

On December 13, 2017, in Wright v. Morsaw, No, 4D17-0589, the Florida Fourth DCA denied the certiorari petition of an alleged hit-and-run driver in a wrongful death case who had sought to quash the plaintiff’s demand for the production of digital copies of all of the defendant’s social media accounts and for a signed authorization from the defendant for the release of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat information. The Fourth DCA rejected the defendant’s Fifth Amendment claim, concluding that the defendant had not demonstrated that he was being asked to furnish or reveal anything that he did not already publicly post, or that he was being asked to provide records that constituted a link in the chain of evidence needed to prove him guilty in the related criminal case. See Rendel v. Rendel, 340 So.2d 1236, 1237–38 (Fla. 4th DCA 1976) (permitting production of necessary written authorizations in order for appellant to obtain copies of account information associated with foreign accounts about which the appellee had already testified to on numerous occasions). The court also rejected the defendant’s request to quash the production of his bank account and credit card records (which apparently were requested as potential evidence of his payments for alcohol).