New California Law Prohibits Jurors' Social Media UsE, Citizen Media Law Project, Sept. 1, 2011.
California has adopted a new statute which clarifies that jurors may not use social media and the Internet – such as texting, Twitter, Facebook, and Internet searches – to research or disseminate information about cases, and can be held in criminal or civil contempt for violating these restrictions.
The new statute, 2011 Cal. Laws chap. 181, expands the state's existing jury instructions which currently, at the start of trial and prior to any recesses or breaks, admonish jurors not to discuss the case they are sitting on with each other or anyone else before deliberations. The current instructions make no specific mention of electronic research or communications.