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You’ve been Facebooked

In a recent decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that service to an intended recipient was proper even though the FedEx driver executing the service failed to leave the summons and complaint with the recipient. In other words, that guy had been “FedExed.”

So, it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to Sidebar when we saw a recent news article reporting that a New York judge had allowed service by Facebook.

According to a blog by New York family law attorney Neil Cahn, the case involved a father who was attempting to serve a petition to terminate child support on the mother of his son who was allegedly emancipated. The father attempted to serve the court papers in a traditional way, but was unsuccessful. He informed the court that the both the mother and her current spouse maintain Facebook accounts that have been active as recently as July.

According to the New York Code, service may be perfected “in such a manner as the court, upon motion without notice, directs, if service is impracticable” by personal delivery, delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion at the residence or business of the person to be served or mailing it to the home or business of the person to be served.

Richmond County Family Court Support Magistrate Gregory L. Gliedman’s Sept. 12 decision in the case Matter of Noel B. v. Maria A. found that the normal methods of service were “impracticable”so he allowed notice of the proceeding to be served via Facebook stating “the Petitioner is to send a digital copy of the summons and petition to the [mother] via the Facebook account, and follow up with a mailing of those same documents to the previously used last known address. . .”

Who knows? Maybe service in 140 characters or less by Twitter is next.

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