Can individual be held accountable for stealing lawsuit information from son's computer and sending it to the Plaintiff?

Asked 5 months ago - Atlanta, GA

A year ago, son, 33 & Brittany, 32, were involved in an ATV accid. Both had cuts/bruises & Brittany had broken toe. They had to go off-road to keep from hitting a stopped flatbed truck in middle of road. Brittany is now suing for injuries/med.bills. More recently, Son broke up with current girlfriend, Jenn. Son discovered that Jenn had logged onto his IPAD (which has a code) and sent private infor. re. the ATV accident, (pictures, ltrs. from son's insur. co. etc.) to her own computer. Then Jenn emailed infor. to Brittany, informing Brittany of the insurance company's strategy, etc!!! Can son go after Jenn for stealing private information involving a lawsuit? Also, is there a way to find out exactly what she forwarded? He checked all SENT/DELETED folders, etc. She left no trail.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Drew Norman Early

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . But how was son damaged by this behavior? If he hasn't been damaged yet, then there's nothing yet to pursue.

  2. James Lawrence Yeargan Jr.

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have to be able to prove damages in order to sue.

    James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on... more
  3. Caryn S. Fennell

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . What was the harm? It does not sound like there is any harm.

    Provided by the Law offices of Caryn S. Fennell and Associates. http://www.fennellatlaw.com/ No attorney-... more
  4. Jennifer L. Ellis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If Jenn broke into an iPad then there is the potential for criminal charges. Son should go to the police. The police might be able to find out what was forwarded.

    I am licensed in Pennsylvania. Members of my firm are licensed in various states, including Pennsylvania, New... more
  5. Dana Whitney Atchley

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If she did this then she might have committed a crime. Many states have criminal laws against unauthorized access to a computer that make it illegal to access someone's computer without that person's permission. It most cases it is a crime even if there was no harm to the person whose computer was accessed.

    In Georgia, section 16-9-93(b) creates the crime of computer trespass. Section 16-9-93(c) creates the crime of computer invasion of privacy. The second might apply in this case. 16-9-93(c) provides that
    "Any person who uses a computer or computer network with the intention of examining any employment, medical, salary, credit, or any other financial or personal data relating to any other person with knowledge that such examination is without authority shall be guilty of the crime of computer invasion of privacy."

    The punishment for violating these sections can be severe. Section 16-9-93(h)(1) provides that
    "Any person convicted of the crime of computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, or computer forgery shall be fined not more than $50,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both."

    All in all, you should consult with a competent attorney in your area before taking any action. You should also not use the computer any more until you've decided whether to file a criminal complaint or not because the more you use it the harder it will be for a computer forensics expert to track down what was done.

    My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not... more

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