Social media has become one of the best sources of evidence in today’s legal practices. It has been particularly useful in criminal, employment, Virginia bankruptcy, and family law; and has played a key role in divorce and child-custody cases. It is also one of the most detrimental, due to the false sense of security social media privacy settings provide. Chances are your privacy settings DO NOT really keep your information private; if you don’t believe me read this. The use of social media in the courtroom has been made public over and over again – yet this has not prevented anyone from censoring what they post.
Curtis Jackson III, better known as rapper 50 Cent, was recently summonsed to return to court when pictures of the rapper surrounded by piles of cash were posted to his Instagram account. Jackson, who filed for bankruptcy protection last year, and his lawyers, insisted that the money in the photos were fakes and used just as a marketing prop to boost the rapper’s brand image.
The post was discovered by one of Mr. Jackson’s creditors, who let it be known, are not the only people watching your social media during a bankruptcy proceeding. The information was then brought before the court.
The Virginia bankruptcy law regarding social media and its preservation is critical in legal proceedings. A Richmond Virginia attorney cannot advise their client to remove any pictures, posts or other information no matter how incriminating the information posted may be. The consequences of failing to preserve or to destroy such can be significant not only to the individual but also to the attorney.
In Jackson’s case, the photos raised suspicion of the rapper’s already questionable financial reports. Read the full story.
Not being truthful about your finances can impair your ability to obtain bankruptcy relief. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the purchases that you make within three months of filing the petition will be under heavy scrutiny, especially items purchased with credit that may be considered luxury goods or services. Under the law, if decision of denial of discharge for some or all of your debt is returned, then you will be responsible for paying it back.
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