NY Judge Allows Service of Divorce Lawsuit on Facebook

The legal profession is often criticized for failing to utilize modern technologies and practices. This criticism is often justified and certainly understandable, given that the legal profession and court system still relies heavily on physical documents and fax machines. However, one New York Judge has taken a huge step into the 21st Century by allowing service of a Divorce Lawsuit through the popular social media website, Facebook.

According to a Time article, “Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper ruled … that a Brooklyn nurse is ‘granted permission to serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook.’” According to the article, the Plaintiff was not able to serve her Divorce Lawsuit through traditional means so the Court permitted her to transmit a copy to him Facebook direct message.

In North Carolina, service of a Lawsuit is typically achieved in one of three methods: personal service by Sheriff Deputy, sending the Lawsuit certified mail through the USPS, or by personal service by a duly authorized process server. If none of those methods are successful, the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure permit service by specific publication over a number of weeks in a newspaper with circulation in the area where the Defendant is believed to reside. As of now, North Carolina does not permit service through email or other digital means.

Although the New York Court allowed service through social media, that ruling is likely to be appealed. North Carolina litigants should probably not expect any immediate changes to service requirements based on the actions of a New York Judge, but as our society becomes increasingly connected through social media and the internet, it is possible that one day North Carolina will allow service via email or social media.

To speak with a North Carolina Family Law Lawyer today about your Divorce or any Family Law matters, please call us today at (704) 810-1400 to schedule a consultation.


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