Divorce Papers Served Through Facebook

For years, Facebook has been used as a way to connect people, but recently it became the vehicle to sever the bonds of marriage. 

While admittedly a nontraditional approach, a Brooklyn judge recently approved the use of Facebook to serve divorce summons. The summons was sent via a private message from a 26-year-old nurse’s Facebook account to the defendant who apparently does not want a divorce.  

In this case, the defendant communicated with the plaintiff almost exclusively via Facebook and cell phone. He appears to have no fixed address or place of employment and was unresponsive to other attempts to contact him. According to the ruling, he used a prepaid cell phone with no address. Even the Department of Motor Vehicles had no record of the man. A private detective also unsuccessfully attempted to locate him.

The ruling underscores a sea of change in the way people communicate, with many people almost exclusively communicating through social media sites and cell phones. Allowing service process via the Internet is likely to become more common, according to legal experts. In his opinion, the judge called this type of delivery “the next frontier” and that while it’s a new approach, it accomplishes the goal of ensuring that the defendant is made aware of the fact that he is being sued.

Although this case is unusual, a precedent may already exist for serving legal documents via Facebook. A New York family court recently approved the delivery of a child support order to an ex-spouse through social media. Before this, notices were left at the last known address or published in a newspaper with no guarantee the defendant would see them. 

For more information on this important issue, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates. 

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