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Judge Allows N.Y. Woman To Serve Divorce Notice Using Facebook

A judge is allowing a Brooklyn, N.Y., woman to serve her elusive husband divorce summons via Facebook.

In his decision dated March 27, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said Ellanora Biadoo could file for divorce from Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku using a private Facebook message. He wrote:

"[P]laintiff is granted permission to serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook. Specifically, because litigants are prohibited from serving other litigants, plaintiff's attorney shall log into plaintiff's Facebook account and message the defendant by first identifying himself, and then including either a web address of the summons or attaching an image of the summons. This transmittalshall be repeated by plaintiff's attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged by the defendant. Additionally, after the initial transmittal, plaintiff and her attorney are to call and text message defendant to inform him that the summons for divorce has been sent to him via Facebook."

The (New York) Daily News, which first reported the story, said Baidoo and Blood-Dzraku, both from Ghana, were married in a civil ceremony in 2009. The relationship ran into trouble when Blood-Dzraku reneged on his promise to also have a traditional Ghanaian ceremony.

"As a result, the wedding was never consummated and the husband and wife never lived together, the lawyer said — but Blood-Dzraku apparently still doesn't want a divorce," the newspaper reported.

Andrew Spinnell, Baidoo's lawyer, told the paper that Blood-Dzraku kept in touch with his wife exclusively via phone and Facebook. Attempts to find him failed.

"We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing," Spinnell told the paper.

The Daily News adds that the first Facebook message to Blood-Dzraku was sent last week.

"So far," Spinnell told the paper, "he hasn't responded."

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.