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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35688
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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How can I get copies of my wifes text messages? She uses Verizon.

Resolved Question:

How can I get copies of my wife's text messages? She uses Verizon.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good afternoon,

I'm sorry to hear of your situation.

I presume that your interest is related to the possibility of filing suit for divorce, based on adultery, yes?

Who is the owner of the account---you or your wife?

How far back are you needing to recover text messages?

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Was u able to find anything?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good afternoon,

 

I am aware of a number of things in regard to your question---but it would help me tremendously if you would reply to my requests for additional information I asked you for:

 

1. I presume that your interest is related to the possibility of filing suit for divorce, based on adultery, yes?

2. Who is the owner of the account---you or your wife?

3. How far back are you needing to recover text messages?

Once you respond to these 3 questions, I will be able to give you your answer.

 

Doug

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I did earlier and it seemed to go thru. The answers to your questions are:Yes. Her employer. 3-4 days.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good evening,

Thank you for letting me know of the problem with the system. I will let JustAnswer know of the issue! Thank you for taking the time to post your responses again.

The answer is essentially, a maybe.

The fact that an employer is the owner of the cellular account, if they are not willing to voluntarily seek the disclosure, from the cellular provider, Verizon, the context of the text messages, then you are stuck convincing a judge that you are entitled to a subpoena for them. This can be an uphill battle unless you have other evidence which will show the court that the text records will in fact show evidence of adultery. More than a simple allegation, or suspicion is needed for this---and you may expect both the employer and Verizon to fight the subpoena.

If you are going to try and accomplish this, you must work very fast. In order to compel a cell phone company to turn over the text messages you are seeking, you must apply to the court for a subpoena to serve on the carrier. In order to get a civil subpoena issued you must have an active lawsuit on file with the court---for example a divorce lawsuit.

I have some experience in this area and you need to know something that the cell carriers will not tell you. That is that while they do keep a record of the text messages---the messages are typically purged from their systems after about 2 weeks---so it will be literally impossible to get the messages from the cell carrier unless you have everything in place to get the subpoena.

Another way to recover the texts is to file for divorce and ask the court to order that the cell phone in question be turned over to your computer forensic expert who can examine the instrument to try and recover the text messages which may have been deleted but which still may be present in the phone weeks or months later. This is often more effective than trying to compel Verizon to turn over text messages.

Either way, without an experienced, and aggressive, family law attorney, representing you, you don;t stand a very good chance of threading your discovery demand through the gauntlet of the privacy protections available to both your spouse, and her employer---I'm sorry.

I wish you the best in 2012.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation, nor was it what I sensed you were hoping to hear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.


Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Bonuses for greatly informative and helpful answers are very much appreciated. Thanks Again,

Doug

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