Facebook has long been a platform for people to announce engagements and publicly change the status of their relationships. Now, the social media platform is actually being used as a conduit to make a legally binding change in one woman's relationship.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper is allowing a Brooklyn nurse named Ellanora Baidoo to serve her divorce papers to her husband through a Facebook message, The New York Daily News reports. This is because Baidoo has only been able to reach her husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, through Facebook and by phone.
Now, don't go thinking that everyone can now serve divorce papers through a private Facebook message accompanied by a stern-looking sticker. This seems to be a special case because Blood-Dzraku told his wife that "he has no fixed address and no place of employment," according to The Daily News. He also apparently doesn't want a divorce and has not made himself available to be physically served the divorce papers. A private investigator was even hired to track Blood-Dzraku down, to no avail.
Since Facebook is one of the only ways Baidoo has been in contact with her husband, the judge granted her "permission [to] serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook," according to the Daily News. So far, one Facebook message has been sent to Blood-Dzraku, to which he has not responded.
The debate over whether or not Facebook can be used as a legally-binding platform has raged on for years, and it is sure to continue in the wake of this landmark ruling. This actually isn't the first time Facebook users have been permitted to serve legal papers using the platform. As Gizmodo points out, a judge allowed a Staten Island man in September 2014 to serve his ex-wife a paper via Facebook that stated his decision to stop paying child support.