Divorce by Facebook: New York woman gets OK to file papers online

Posted at 4:29 PM, Apr 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-06 16:29:03-04
(CNN) — Facebook may soon need to add “Just got served divorce papers” to its list of relationship statuses now that a New York judge has said the social media site is an acceptable way for a Brooklyn woman to serve her husband with divorce papers.

Ellanora Arthur Baidoo has been trying to divorce her husband for several years, according to her attorney, Andrew Spinnell.

But, Spinnell said, he and his client haven’t been able to find Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku to serve him the papers. Baidoo has been able to reach her husband by phone and “he has told her that he has no fixed address and no place of employment,” according to court documents.

“He has also refused to make himself available to be served,” the document said.

After exhausting other ways of serving him the papers, Spinnell filed an application asking for “service by alternate means,” in this case, via social media.

In his decision, Justice Matthew Cooper said the “advent and ascendency of social media,” means sites like Facebook and Twitter are the “next frontier” as “forums through which a summons can be delivered.”

Before Cooper agreed to her using Facebook, Baidoo had to prove the Facebook account belongs to her husband, and that he consistently logs on to the account and would therefore see the summons.

Spinnell said Baidoo’s marriage to Blood-Dzraku began to unravel shortly after they married in 2009 because her husband refused to participate in a Ghanian wedding ceremony that would include both their families

The couple never lived together, according to court documents.

“She’s not asking for any money,” Spinnell said, “She just wants to move on with her life and get a divorce.”

Spinnell said he has contacted Blood-Dzraku twice on Facebook, but has yet to hear back.

If Blood-Dzraku refuses the summons, Spinnell said the judge can move forward with a “divorce by default” for his client.

Blood-Dzraku could not be reached for comment.