“We tried everything, including hiring a private detective – and nothing,” says attorney Andrew Spinnell. But they had not yet tried Facebook.
In a landmark ruling, a New York judge this week ruled that a woman may use the social medium to serve divorce papers to her elusive husband.
“The transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged,” wrote Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper.
So now, Ellanora Baidoo and her attorney will be using Facebook in an attempt to serve her husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, the divorce summons. Apparently, Blood-Dzraku is in regular Facebook and phone contact with Ms. Baidoo, however he refuses to provide her with his home address or work location, and he is not voluntarily accepting service of the summons.
According to Spinnell, Baidoo and Blood-Dzraku were wed in a civil ceremony in 2009, but he reneged on the promise to have a Ghanaian ceremony with family present. As a result, the wedding was never consummated and the two never lived together. But Blood-Dzraku still does not want a divorce.
He hasn’t had a permanent address since 2011, and he tells his wife that he is not employed. He has no forwarding address and there is no billing address linked to a pre-paid cell phone. The Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him, according to the court filing. He seems to be a ghost.
Now, per the judge’s ruling – he will be served – on Facebook.
This seems to set a new precedence in the way that legal papers may be served. In this jurisdiction at least, serving papers is now made much easier than what is the usual. No more skulking around the corner waiting to ambush a defendant, or pretending to have a flower delivery with the papers tucked neatly inside.
What say you? Facebook is currently only as invasive as we let it be; this ruling in New York could be a sign of things to come. Good or bad.