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Divorce discovery - personal email and passwords

Detroit, MI |

I'm currently going through a divorce. Opposing counsel has sent a large discovery questionnaire. One question asks for username and password for home and work computer for all computer programs and internet programs including yahoo, etc. Is the legal? Do I have to give this up just because they asked? What if I do and my response gets lost in the mail and my identity is stolen or there is malicious electronic activity that might result from giving up email passwords? Do I legally have to give up all usernames and passwords? Is there a law that helps block this request? Thanks in advance.

Attorney Answers 4


You should discuss this with your attorney, or get one if you are not represented. I would object and if necessary seek a protective order. You most certainly have NO right and COULD BE FIRED for providing access to your employer's system. Discovery is broad and the opposition can ask for almost everything, however but neither the Courts nor the Law are stupid.

To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .

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In Michigan, the rules regarding "discovery" (written questions, depositions, etc.) are very broad, however you should be able to at least get a Protective Order as to any disclosures. I would need to know more info before I could give you a definitive answer as to your duty to respond to a particular interrogatory (question) by opposing counsel. You and your lawyer should meet and review in detail all of opposing counsel's discovery requests, to assess the reasonableness of same. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick

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This is one of many questions you may have concerning the law and legal procedure as your case progresses, and points out the need for an attorney to protect your legal rights and interests.

This comment is designed for general information only, and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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While the rules of discovery are broad, discovery must be relevant. I would discuss the issue not only with your attorney, but also with your employer. I also agree that a protective order may bring some comfort.

Daniel Findling

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