"[Baidoo] has spoken with [her ex] 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," Cooper wrote.
Cooper, after first asking her to prove that the Facebook account was her husband's through their correspondence, directed Baidoo and her attorney to serve the divorce papers for three consecutive weeks. After that time, the judge will permit Baidoo to file for default judgment for her divorce.
"She’s not looking for any money. I don’t think there is any marital property. This is a case where a woman wants to move on with her life and marry someone else potentially," Spinnell said.
"Under the circumstance presented here, service by Facebook, albeit novel and non-traditional, is the form of service that most comports with the constitutional standards of due process," Cooper wrote. "Not only is it reasonably calculated to provide defendant with notice that he is being sued for divorce, but every indication is that it will achieve what should be the goal of every method of service: actually delivering the summons to him."
Spinnell said they served Blood-Dzraku for the first time last week via his Facebook email address and an attachment, as first reported by New York Daily News. And he was served for the second time today, though there still has not been a response.
"She wants to move on with her life and this will allow her to be able to do so," Spinnell said of his client.
Spinnell said there are federal commercial cases that have allowed service by Facebook, but he did not know whether other states allow it. In September, a judge in New York's Richmond County Family Court on Staten Island allowed a woman to be served via Facebook to modify an existing child-support order, according a New York lawyer who’s familiar with the state’s matrimonial laws.
Alton Abramowitz, chair of the New York State Bar’s Family Law section who wrote about that decision for the New York Law Journal in October, said, "As the populace becomes more dependent on electronic communication, the need for personal service -- in which someone is physically served -- becomes less and less important, especially as people are live transiently.
"Often we live in a world where people can disappear but manage to surface on the Internet so, basically, the Internet is the best place to communicate," said Abramowitz, partner with Mayerson Abramowitz & Kahn in New York and past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Blood-Dzraku declined to comment. It is unclear whether he has an attorney, Spinnell said.