Related to: D-202-DV-2012-1885
This matter came before the Hearing Officer on November 2, 2021 for a hearing on Petitioner’s (Wife’s) Motion to Finalize Divorce, filed August 11, 2021. This Hearing Officer also heard Wife’s Amended Verified Motion for Service by Publication, filed August 11, 2021. Wife appeared and represented herself, pro se. Respondent (Husband) did not appear and had not been served. Due to the current global pandemic, the hearing was telephonic.
The Hearing Officer, having reviewed the Court pleadings, heard testimony from Wife and being otherwise fully advised, FINDS AND RECOMENDS:
1. The procedural history of this case is outlined in the Hearing Officer Report filed April 28, 2021 and adopted as a Court Order on May 24, 2021.
2. Wife’s testimony is summarized as follows:
A. She and Husband have been separated for years.
B. She does not communicate with members of Husband’s family, due to a criminal case involving Husband’s brother and one of the minor children of the parties.
C. She believes that Husband lives somewhere in California, but he has not disclosed an exact address to her.
D. In early 2021, Husband was in Albuquerque. Wife petitioned the Court for a Temporary Order of Protection against him, due to his behaviors.
E. Wife attempted to serve Husband via certified mail on three (3) occasions: on May 19, 2021; June 4, 2021; and later in 2021. She was unsuccessful.
F. Wife attempted to serve Husband in person with the assistance of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). She believes that APD did serve Husband but neglected to file the return of service.
a. Wife provided APD with the TOP documents as well as the Domestic Matters pleadings.
b. No proof of service was filed in the TOP case; however, Husband appeared at a hearing in that case on February 2, 2021.
G. Wife went to the Post Office in an attempt to obtain a good forwarding address for Husband. However, the Post Office refused to provide her with any information.
H. Wife does not have social media and, as such, was unable to locate Husband via social media.
3. This Hearing Officer reviewed the February 2, 2021 hearing in the related Domestic Violence case. Both parties appeared telephonically. Wife requested a dismissal of the TOP.
4. The Hearing Office FINDS that Wife made diligent efforts to make personal service, but have not been able to complete service of process.
5. The Hearing Officer further FINDS that the newspaper of general circulation in this county is the Health City Sun, and that this newspaper is most likely to give Husband notice of the pendency of this action.
6. Wife shall serve process on Husband by publication once a week for three consecutive weeks in the Health City Sun. The notice shall inform Husband that Wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on September 11, 2015 and a Motion to Finalize Divorce on October 11, 2021.
7. Wife shall file proof of service with a copy of the Affidavit of Publication when service has been completed.
8. Wife may obtain information regarding service at the Self-Help Division, Room 119 of the Courthouse.
9. After Wife has properly served Husband, she shall file the appropriate Motion and Request for hearing, on her request to finalize the divorce, and the matter shall be set for hearing.
You have ten (10) working days from the filing date to serve written objections to the Recommendations on the parties and file the objections with the District Court.
By /s/ Elizabeth O. Rourke
Domestic Relations Hearing Officer
DC 11/02/21
This Hearing Officer Report was hand delivered and /or mailed to the parties at their address of record on this 11/2 of 2021.
/s/ SJ
District Court Clerk
HCS Pub. November 12, 19, 26, 2021

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