In a landmark ruling, a New York judge recently directed the service of a summons with notice for an action of divorce via Facebook.

In the case of Baidoo v. Blood-Dzraku (2015 NY Slip Op 25096), Judge Matthew Cooper, after being provided with proof of other numerous attempts, afforded the Plaintiff the right to serve her husband with divorce papers by means of the social media program, Facebook.

The parties had not lived together since 2009. The Plaintiff was also able to show that the couple’s only communications were through occasional phone calls and interactions on Facebook. As a condition of utilizing such an unconventional method of service, the Judge required the wife to demonstrate that her husband regularly logged in to the website.

This is noteworthy because of New York’s relatively strict laws detailing how a party must be served in a divorce proceeding which is personally delivered. Fortunately for the wife, the law does allow the court to do what it deems appropriate to effectuate the appropriate service in a matrimonial matter.

Even before the Internet and Facebook, judges often looked for creative solutions to effectuate service of an action for divorce despite those spouses who have attempted to avoid service. This is, among other factors, intended to prevent the serious financial detriment a “rogue” spouse has to potentially inflict on his or her partner.

It may be that this case could herald the beginning of a trend to give parties alternative means to serve notice on those who consistently avoid accepting more traditional methods of service.