How to Serve an Out-of-State Subpoena on Facebook a/k/a Meta

Serving an out-of-state subpoena can be daunting and complicated, especially for companies with no physical presence within the state. This is even more true when serving subpoenas on technology companies like Facebook, which operate online.

The Challenge of Acquiring Records From Facebook

Acquiring Records From FacebookIn many cases, attorneys often require access to records from Facebook to build a legal case or to support their client’s claims. Facebook stores its records on servers in various locations within the United States, making it difficult for attorneys to obtain these records. To resolve this problem, attorneys must serve an out-of-state subpoena on Facebook.

It is important for attorneys requesting records from Facebook via out-of-state subpoenas to understand all legal requirements to ensure their subpoenas are properly served for maximum success.

Requirements for Serving Foreign Subpoenas on Facebook a/k/a Meta

For the subpoena to be considered valid by Facebook, it must include specific information in its guidelines. It must contain the following:

  • The name of the issuing authority and agent.
  • An email address originating from a law enforcement domain.
  • A direct contact phone number.

Furthermore, it is necessary to provide the username of the Facebook account on the relevant date. Please include specific details regarding the requested information and its relation to your investigation. It is crucial to note that usernames are not static, and requests that lack the relevant date in combination with the username cannot be processed.

Requests for User Information

Facebook only discloses account records following its terms of service and applicable laws, including the federal Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) outlined in 18 U.S.C. Sections 2701-2712. Under the SCA, the following conditions must be met for disclosure:

  • For the disclosure of basic subscriber records (such as name, length of service, credit card information, email address(es), and recent login/logout IP address(es), if available), a valid subpoena is required, issued as part of an official criminal investigation.
  • To compel the disclosure of certain records or other non-communication-related information on the account (including message headers and IP addresses), a court order issued under 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(d) is necessary. However, this requirement does not cover the contents of communications.
  • To compel the disclosure of the stored contents of any account (such as messages, photos, comments, and location information), a search warrant must be issued under the procedures outlined in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or equivalent state warrant procedures. This requires a showing of probable cause.

While some information stored by Facebook is collected automatically, other data is user-provided. Facebook does not enforce email or phone verification; real names or identities are not mandatory.

Read their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more details on Facebook’s policies.

Where to Submit Requests


Attorneys and law enforcement may use the Law Enforcement Online Request System to submit, track, and process their requests. A government-issued email address is necessary to access the system.

Civil Requests Within the U.S.

Meta Platforms, Inc.,

1601 Willow Road,

Menlo Park, CA 94025

Civil Requests Outside the U.S.

Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd is the service provider and data controller for users of Facebook services in Europe (excluding the United Kingdom). Address your requests to:

Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd.,

Merrion Road, Dublin 4, D04 X2K5, Ireland

For Facebook users outside the European region, address your requests to Meta Platforms, Inc.

Meta Platforms, Inc.

1601 Willow Road,

Menlo Park, CA 94025

Entrust the Domestication of Your Out-of-State Subpoena on Facebook to Serve Index LLC

Serve an out-of-state subpoena on Facebook with the help of Serve Index LLC. We are a process-serving company specializing in helping attorneys serve out-of-state subpoenas. Our experienced team understands the complexities of subpoena service and can help guide you through the process to ensure your legal documents are properly served. 

Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help you get the records you need.

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