A New York judge has ruled that a woman is allowed to serve her ex divorce papers via Facebook message.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper made the ruling after a nurse named Ellanora Baidoo was unable to track down her husband for three weeks in order to serve him with the divorce papers.
“I think it’s new law, and it’s necessary,” Baidoo’s lawyer, Andrew Spinnell, told the New York Daily News.
Spinnell notes that “We tried everything, including hiring a private detective,” and were ultimately unable to track Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, the man in question, down.
Blood-Dzraku doesn’t have a job, a driver’s licence, or billing address, however the couple have communicated regularly on social media.
Baidoo’s lawyer sent the first Facebook message out to Blood-Dzraku last week and, “So far, he hasn’t responded.”
He will continue to send Blood-Dzraku one message per week for three weeks or until Blood-Dzraku responds and acknowledges receipt, the court filing says.
It’s unknown whether this decision will be used as a precedent in future cases, however as CNET notes, “this isn’t the first time a US judge has granted someone permission to serve legal documentation on Facebook.” A man was allowed to serve child support payment documentation via the social platform last year, and some foreign countries allow for divorce filings over text message.