How do you serve divorce papers on someone who doesn’t want to be found? Private message them on Facebook, of course.
A New York woman has won the approval of a judge to serve her hard-to-find husband with divorce papers via a series of Facebook PM’s, The Associated Press is reporting.
Ellanora Baidoo’s marriage to Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku was never much of a marriage. The couple married in a civil ceremony in 2009, but Ellanora claims Victor had promised that the two would later get married in a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony with both families present. Instead, Victor backed out on that promise, then just sort of disappeared. The couple never lived together or consummated their marriage, The New York Daily News reports.
Victor and his wife kept in touch via phone and Facebook, but that’s been the extent of their contact. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, in his ruling, explained how hard it’s been for Ellanora to contact her husband to serve the divorce papers.
“[The] last address plaintiff has for defendant is an apartment that he vacated in 2011. [The plaintiff] has spoken with defendant by telephone on occasion and he has told her that he has no fixed address and no place of employment. He has also refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers.”
He also uses a prepaid cell phone (no billing address), left no forwarding address with the Post Office, and doesn’t have a driver’s license. In other words, the man is a ghost – a ghost with a Facebook account.
And since divorce papers can’t legally be served via a Ouija board, the judge agreed that Ellanora’s only real option is to try to serve divorce papers via Facebook private message.
“[The plaintiff] is granted permission serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook. This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged”
Ellanora’s lawyer, Andrew Spinnell, admits that serving divorce papers via Facebook is a little unorthodox, but that’s the reality of living in the age of social media.
“I think it’s new law, and it’s necessary.”
Spinnell also admits that the Facebook route was his client’s absolute last resort.
“We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing.”
Spinnell has begun the process of attempting to serve divorce papers via Facebook, but has not received a response, as of this post.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu]