San Diego attorney Paul Staley was asked to serve the petition on behalf of a client whose wife who had left the US years before. There was no known current address, but Staley found several women with her name on Facebook.
He decided to try and extend a California law which allows people petitioning for divorce to publish a note of the proceedings in a newspaper in some limited circumstances, in order to give the other person notice of the divorce. He asked a judge to let him use Facebook instead and, in what for what is thought to be a first for the state, the judge granted permission.
The divorce has since been completed.
Photo by Ted Rheingold via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence