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US court allows woman to file for divorce via Facebook

world Updated: Apr 07, 2015 20:20 IST

In a landmark ruling, a US court has allowed a woman to serve divorce papers to her elusive husband through a Facebook message after her repeated attempts to contact him failed.

Manhattan Supreme Court last week granted permission to 26-year-old nurse Ellanora Baidoo to file for divorce from her husband via a private message on Facebook.

The judge ordered that the message shall be repeated by the woman's lawyer once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged by her "hard-to-find hubby".

Baidoo married Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku in a civil ceremony in 2009, but their relationship crumbled when her husband reneged on his promise to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony as well, New York Daily News reported.

Blood-Dzraku has been elusive ever since. He left his apartment without a forwarding address, has no DMV record, and has no fixed place of employment.

The post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him, the ruling said.

“I think it’s new law, and it’s necessary,” said Baidoo’s lawyer, Andrew Spinnell. “We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing,” he added.

The “last address plaintiff has for defendant is an apartment that he vacated in 2011,” Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said. Baidoo “has spoken with defendant by telephone on occasion and he has told her that he has no fixed address and no place of employment. He has also refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers.”

Last year, a man was allowed to serve legal documents related to child support payments on the social networking site.

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