I'm the CEO of a web company located in NC. My business partner was acting as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Last year, he decided to move out of state to live with his girlfriend and work remotely. He came to the office for 2 weeks a month and was home 2 weeks a month. Then 2 weeks turned into 3, and 3 into 4 until he stopped coming back. He said he wanted to work from home full-time, and refused to relinquish 50% ownership, hire a replacement, or be bought out. He restricted server administrator access to himself at some point while I was busy with day-to-day operating concerns. This went unnoticed until our site went down due to an expired security certificate. It took him 2 days to respond to emails and text messages begging for server access, and instead of providing us with the credentials, he renewed the security certificate himself. He is currently ignoring all requests for access. He has caused serious harm to the business and cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. I have had to lay off loyal employees as our website traffic has been cut down to 1/3 and isn't generating enough income. Do I have any legal recourse to restore my server access?
Making a number of assumptions based on the facts you presented, yes you absolutely have a legal path to gaining access to the servers along with a host of other remedies that it sounds like you need (including perhaps dealing with you business partner).
I would strongly suggest you speak with a civil litigation attorney who has background in business structures.
This answer and advice is general in nature and not intended as specific legal advice on the issue in question, nor does it create an attorney/client relationship or give rise to any privilege, including attorney/client privilege.
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