A woman has been granted permission by a judge to serve divorce papers to her estranged husband via a Facebook message.
The message will then be repeatedly sent by Ellanora Baidoo's legal team to husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku once a week for three consecutive weeks, or until they are acknowledged by her husband. Justice Matthew Cooper of the Manhattan Supreme Court said Baidoo, a 26-year-old nurse, "is granted permission [to] serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook."
Cooper added: "This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff's attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged. Baidoo's lawyer, Andrew Spinnell, said: "I think it's new law, and it's necessary," reports New York Daily News.
Spinnell said the couple, who are both from Ghana, got married in a civil ceremony in 2009, but their relationship ended when Blood-Dzraku went back on his promise to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony as well. As a result, the wedding was never consummated and the couple never lived together, Spinnell said, adding that despite this, Blood-Dzraku does not want a divorce and kept in touch with his wife by phone and over Facebook.
Unable to find the location of Blood-Dzraku, Baidoo only knows the address of an apartment her husband vacated in 2011; he has since told his wife he has no fixed address and no place of employment. "He has also refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers," the judge said. "The post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him...we tried everything, including hiring a private detective - and nothing [was found]."
The first Facebook message was sent to Blood-Dzraku in the week beginning 30 March, and as of 6 April there was no reply.