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Ask Meigs Your Own Question

Meigs
Meigs, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1344
Experience:  I have multiple years experience prosecuting and defending clients.
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is it a crime to, without my knowledge or authorization, to

Customer Question

is it a crime to, without my knowledge or authorization, to photograph text messages and photographs, then post them on Facebook to embarrass me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Meigs replied 2 years ago.

meigs004 :

Hello! How are you this evening?

meigs004 :

I see that you are currently offline. Please post something in the chat upon your return so that I can be notified that you are back. This will allow us to chat live, and for you to ask any questions that you might have. Thanks for your patience as I may be assisting another customer, or away from my computer.

Customer:

am here

meigs004 :

How are you tonight?

Customer:

good thanks

meigs004 :

Great. Tell me your situation again. An individual took pictures of text messages and pictures on your niece's phone and posted them to face book?

meigs004 :

On his account?

Customer:

yes...and to be malicious as it was his first date with her (but they knew each other from high school) - yet he had expectations of dating her longer, which she was just thinking it was a first date.

meigs004 :

Before we proceed allow me to post my standard provision about accepting answers here on JA. Please DO NOT click the accept button until the end of our conversation.

meigs004 :

If at anytime you feel that I have adequately provided you with an answer to your question, then if you would please click the accept button so that I may be compensated for my work that would be very much appreciated. Also, bonuses are optional, and are certainly not required, but very much appreciated. Remember, clicking the accept button does not prevent you from asking further questions on this post, and will not preclude me from continuing to answer your questions and provide you with research. There is no Attorney-Client relationship created by our communications and the advice and information that I provide is merely for informational purposes. The advice that I provide is not to be taken over the advice of a competent attorney within your jurisdiction.

Customer:

so he and his brother and

meigs004 :

Ok. I will represent to you that it is a crime to do that. It can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor harassment, or harassing communication. In most jurisdictions, this is a misdemeanor, usually punishable by probation and fines. However, if the conduct is egregious enough, the judge could potentially impose jail time.

Customer:

his parents took pictures of her text messages and photographs, then posted them on his face book page to embarrass her and treat her like she was involved with multiple guys and he was just another being used by her....which absolutely was not the case, nor her intention to start dating him exclusively

Customer:

seems to be an invasion of privacy and bullying, all rolled into one event

meigs004 :

It is but, invasion of privacy, is a civil claim.

meigs004 :

That would need to be pursued in a civil claim for damages caused by his conduct.

Customer:

is there a criminal claim possible for stealing her information?

Customer:

it is no different than entering her house and filing cabinets to dig into her private matters without her permission...

meigs004 :

Criminal statutes for stealing usually only involve physical, tangible property. I understand, but criminal thefts usually only deal in tangible property. The civil invasion of privacy claim would cover the misappropriation of her information.

meigs004 :

That is required in the criminal context so that a value can be assessed for the property, and for prosecutors to decide which theft to place the crime.

Customer:

is data and pictures under the wiretapping laws not considered tangible? And what about harming her reputation for the world to see...

Customer:

this is what the NJ college roommate who recorded his gay roommates sexual activities and texts for the world to see is on trial for causing the gay teen's suicide

meigs004 :

I would represent to you that data and pictures can be considered tangible, but in the criminal context, it would be hard to place a value on the data. Harming of her reputation would be a defamation/slander/libel claim in civil court, and there would need to be concrete proof of damage to her reputation and malice on his behalf.

meigs004 :

In that case the suicide is what placed it in criminal court. The act caused the individual to commit suicide.

Customer:

malice would be easy....his comments on his own page support that

meigs004 :

Right.

meigs004 :

That would be the easy element.

Customer:

and how does anyone prove damage to reputation when the world is told of destructive lies from her accuser?

Customer:

so she is in college, her high school and college friends see this stuff, causing them to view her differently, and with suspicion of character.

meigs004 :

That is the hard part. Defamation claims are usually based in a commercial context, where loss of profits in the business is the main concrete evidence produced. To claim damage to reputation there would need to be concrete evidence of a resulting harm from this egregious conduct.

Customer:

she is not seeking damages at this early stage, rather seeing if there is not some consequence for the man and his parents with their invasion of privacy and bullying behavior.

meigs004 :

Criminally, they are liable for harassment, and harassing communications. Civilly, the are liable for invasion of privacy, defamation/slander/libel, negligence, etc...

Customer:

the guy and his parents are creeps and, without consequences, do this for their pleasure/sport

Customer:

ah, ok, that is making more sense..harassment

meigs004 :

Civil remedies are more abundant because you can squeeze into categories. Criminal statutes are usually pretty cut and dry. Either you fit or you dont.

Customer:

so she could sue them civilly and criminally and have some reasonable shot at prevailing

Customer:

and your thoughts are harrassment and harrassing communications, and invasion of privacy and defamation/slandere/libel, etc

meigs004 :

Yes. There is obviously culpable conduct on behalf of the kid, and his parents.

meigs004 :

Also, you could include a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

meigs004 :

Civilly.

meigs004 :

Does this answer your questions this evening?

Customer:

yep, did a good job...I knew there would be some categories to at least ponder with this...thanks for your assistance.

Meigs, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1344
Experience: I have multiple years experience prosecuting and defending clients.
Meigs and 8 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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