News broke Monday that a New York state court ruled a woman seeking a divorce could serve the papers to her estranged husband via Facebook.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, ruled that lawyers representing Ellanora Baidoo could “serve [the] defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook.”
Does this mean we have to start worrying about being served next time we log on to Facebook? The answer is tricky.
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“The legal basis in general is that you can’t bring someone into a lawsuit of any type unless you give them notice. It’s a fundamental requirement of the law,” James Cohen, associate professor of Law at Fordham University told Metro.
How a plaintiff provides that notice is a separate matter entirely.
The core requirement of serving someone is requiring verification that the service was indeed received.
Cohen explained that the rules regarding serving legal documents are flexible and do not exclude or prohibit using Facebook as means of serving someone.
So it turns out that little “seen” notification in Facebook’s message platform just might be enough to drag you to court.