Can a facebook conversation be admissible in court as a written agreement?

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Can a facebook conversation be admissible in court as a written agreement?

The accused party is not an officially registered business. The accused agreed, over the social media website Facebook, to create a product for a dually agreed specific price. The plaintiffs paid money in advance but never received the product. Also, in some cases, the accused, after having agreed on a price, would contact the plaintiffs at a later date demanding a higher price. When the plaintiffs declined, the accused kept the money and never delivered the product.

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Contracts, whether written or oral, are enforceable if there was an offer to do something, acceptance of that offer, and provision of "consideration," or something of value. If the other party agreed to create a product, you accepted the offer, and paid consideration, that creates an enforceable contract.

The writings on Facebook would,  at a minimum, provide evidence of the existence and terms of the agreement. That might also constitute a written contract--the law does not require a written contract to necessarily be in any specific form; all that is required is the writing(s) show the terms of the agreement and evidence the parties' acceptance thereof. So certainly, an exchange of messages via Facebook would be useful to the party contemplating suing for breach of contract, and, depending on exactly what they say, could themselves be a contract.


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