In a landmark ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper is allowing a neglected wife’s attorney to serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook, the Daily News reports.
Ellanora Baidoo — whose name coincidentally rhymes with Baidu, the Chinese equivalent to Google — married Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku in a civil ceremony in 2009. According to Baidoo’s lawyer, Baidoo and Blood-Dzraku never lived together nor consummated their marriage, however, and Blood-Dzraku reneged on a promise to participate in a traditional Ghanaian marriage ceremony. So Baidoo didn’t want to be married to him.
But Blood-Dzraku is basically off the grid, making serving him with papers nearly impossible. Blood-Dzraku hasn’t lived at his last known address since 2011. He has no recorded place of employment, no known address and no motor vehicle record. Baidoo has only had contact with him via telephone and Facebook. Facebook is the best and perhaps the only way to contact him. So Cooper has ruled that Baidoo’s attorney Andrew Spinelli can send Blood-Dzraku divorce papers via Facebook private message once a week for three weeks or until he responds.
In addition to its implications about the legal status of social media, this ruling could provide a legal template for how to divorce a ghost: go into the haunted room, read the document thrice, and then declare the union severed.