Is a text message legally binding?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a text message legally binding?

We received a text message confirming a lie that someone told us in our business.
Will the text message hold up in ‘court’ and, if so, how do you recommend that we
preserve the text message. I am afraid it might be accidentally deleted from my
phone and also, I am not sure how long messages are stored on my phone.


Asked on March 15, 2016 under Business Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A text message can be used as evidence in a case, especially if it was sent by the other party (in which case it is an admission by the other party, and not therefore hearsay--i.e. it is admissible against the person who sent the message).
If you can forward the message to an email account--I know that you can do that on an Android phone, because I do this regularly--send it to your email; then from your email, print it out while also saving it to your computer and (ideally) to cloud based storage or back up as well. You'll want hardcopy for trial anyway; hardcopy is much easier to enter into evidence.

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