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Will the future involve service of process through social media?

A key part of initiating a divorce involves serving your soon-to-be ex-spouse with a summons and petition for marital dissolution. Most of the time this is a routine process that is carried out by a process server or the sheriff. However, it can be challenging when the person to be served intentionally makes him or herself unavailable.

Indeed, this can be frustrating, and the law allows for alternative methods for notifying a litigant of a lawsuit. Essentially, publication of the summons in a local publication for a certain amount of time may suffice as proper service depending on the circumstances. However, the service allowed in New York divorce case may pave the way for service of process in the future.

Essentially, a court has allowed a woman to serve divorce papers onto her husband via Facebook. According to a story, the woman (and her attorney) had tried a number of ways to serve him personally and to find where he was living. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles had no record of him (and no address), the postal service had no forwarding address and the current address (of course) was no longer valid. Even after hiring private investigators, the husband could not be found.

However, the woman would have occasional chats with him over Facebook. So after petitioning the court, the judge allowed her attorney to log onto her Facebook account and post a message to him regarding the divorce papers. The publication was ordered to be done once per week of three weeks; much like a publication in a newspaper.

Could this be a glimpse of the future? Only time will tell.

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Stahl & Hidir P.C.

Stahl & Hidir P.C.
650 Henderson Drive,
Suite 445
Cartersville, GA 30120

Phone: 678-792-4190
Phone: 770-387-2540
Fax: 770-386-0420
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