A Manhattan Supreme Court Judge recently ruled that a woman, wanting to file for divorce from her missing husband, could serve him with the divorce papers through his Facebook account. Strange? Apparently not to the courts, because a Judge in Staten Island also recently allowed a petitioner to serve a spouse through Facebook but also made as a requirement that the papers be mailed to the defendant as well.
The service the Judge required, had to be sent through private message, and not made publicly on the facebook page. This was to remedy the painstaking and frustrating process of attempting to find the spouse to serve divorce papers or other notifications regarding the divorce process. But is this due process?
The court reasoned that service by “publication”, is permissible by statute, so service by Facebook was in fact proper and appropriate under the circumstances. The circumstances, not unfamiliar in divorce actions, are that one spouse may not want to be served and avoid the process server. In order to prevail on an application for service via Facebook or some other social media, an affidavit or certification needs to accompany the request outlining the many ways service attempts were made and failed. The bottom line is that whether or not you want to get divorced, you can now be served via your Facebook (and probably other social media) account.
If you are having problems serving your soon to be ex-spouse, contact one of our attorneys to discuss.