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New York judge says woman can file for divorce through Facebook

By Andrew Buncombe

Published 07/04/2015

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The ramifications and implications of the digital world continue to grow and amaze.

In what has been described as a landmark ruling, a judge in New York has permitted a woman to file for divorce by changing her Facebook page status to “single”.

The New York Daily News said judge Matthew Cooper of the New York City Supreme Court had allowed Ellanora Baidoo, 26, to serve notice in this unprecedented manner because she had failed to serve divorce papers on her elusive husband by more traditional methods.

“[Ms Baidoo] is granted permission serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook,” wrote Mr Cooper.

“This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged.”

Ms Baidoo’s lawyer, Andrew Spinnell, said the couple married in 2009 but that the relationship soured after her husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, broke a promise to hold a traditional Ghanaian ceremony. Both husband and wife hail from Ghana.

“I think it’s new law, and it’s necessary,” said Mr Spinnell.

Reports said that Mr Blood-Dzraku apparently has no fixed address and has only kept in touch with his wife by phone and the social networking site. As a result, the wedding was never consummated and the husband and wife never lived together, the lawyer said. Mr Blood-Dzraku still will not agree to a divorce.

“We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing worked,” said Mr Spinnell. The first Facebook message went out to the husband last week.

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