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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 112682
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I bought my 18 year old a phone and pay service. She has

Customer Question

I bought my 18 year old a phone and pay for the service. She has issues with drugs and alcohol and recent suicide attempts. She is in residential treatment now and denies regular use during family and individual therapy sessions. I would like her caregivers to know her background and also confront her with the situation constructively so she knows we want her to stop lying and just focus on recovery. Is it against the law to review her messages to document (for the drs) where she has made suicide plans or used alcohol, marijuana, or bought drugs?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Even though you pay for the phone and service, you cannot access her phone without a warrant, since the phone is for her use and possession without her consent or permission. As she is an adult, if you illegally access her phone she could potentially sue you for invasion of privacy, but quite honestly in reality if you do so and present it to her doctors and therapists, nobody is going to sue you (she is not going to sue, she will not afford any lawyer to do so). So, yes, technically, you need her consent or a subpoena to access the phone even if you pay for it, but practically speaking in reality if you access the phone to provide the information to the doctors for her treatment, nobody is going to sue you over that.