Agreeing to life-altering decisions via text message
In other SCOTUS news, the court ruled 5-4 for the adoptive parents in the Baby Veronica case. In part because the father sent the mother a text message to the effect of "I'd rather terminate my parental rights than pay child support." In the Baby Wyatt case, the mother sent the father a text message stating, "I'm considering adoption" which was enough for the UT court to say the father had no legal standing to contest the adoption. (The parents were residents of VA and the baby was born in VA. Immediately following the birth the father tried to track down his daughter but was refused by the hospital. He then went to court and was granted custody by VA courts but UT says oh well.) Anyway, the thing the cases have in common is that these decisions have put a lot of weight on something said via text message.
With text messages, there is room for misunderstanding or taking things out of context. People don't always mean what they say at the time.
We wouldn't allow a landlord to evict a tenant via text message or a tenant to give 30 days' notice. It wouldn't be enough to serve a spouse with divorce papers. Yet it's enough in UT to properly notify a father his parental rights are being terminated.
So my debate question is whether or not you think people should be held to monumental decisions based on text messages? If so, is there a limit to the use of the text message to notify others of your legal intentions?