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Law Pro
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is snooping ex wifes mail and stealing phone statement a crime in CA? is emotiona

Resolved Question:

is snooping ex wife's mail and stealing phone statement a crime in CA?

is emotional damage by in-laws after a divorce a crime to ex-wife or children?

is accusation of infedility is a crime?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.
Opening her mail is a crime.

Emotional damage caused by a divorce to the in-laws is not a recognized legal cause of action for anyone.

No, accusation of infedility is not a crime.

There are many legal and proper ways to obtain proof of a spouse’s infidelity. Take care to avoid tactics used to obtain private information that may violate federal confidentiality laws and a spouse’s right to privacy. You may be tempted by others to obtain proof of a partner’s infidelity by various inappropriate and/or illegal methods. Reading emails, recording telephone calls, installing spyware or geographical tracking devices or even setting up hidden cameras are just a few methods a spouse may be offered when entertaining the thought of catching a cheating spouse. However, such actions may expose the spouse to to civil liability and possible criminal penalties. It is a crime to install a geographical tracking device on a vehicle owned by another person.

Both federal and state wiretapping laws apply to divorcing spouses. A spouse may sue the other spouse or their agents for invasion of privacy. Federal law regulates electronic surveillance of conversations and access to emails, faxes and voicemail. The law imposes civil and criminal sanctions for intentional interceptions of electronic communications. However, accessing email after it has been transmitted, i.e. downloading a text from your telephone or email from the hard drive of a family computer, is not an offense under the Federal Act.

Federal law allows recording of telephone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the communication. Under the one-party consent statutes, a spouse may record conversations in which he or she is participating. This has been extended to include parental recording of a child’s conversations with a third party, including the other parent. The parent can consent to the recording on behalf of the child so long as the parent has a good faith objective and a reasonable belief that it is in the best interest of the child, even if the child is unaware of the recording.

It is important that a spouse take great care in their means and methods of gathering information. Information obtained by illegal means can expose one, even if he or she is a spouse, to civil liabilities and possible criminal prosecution. Such right is violated if a person intentionally intrudes upon the private affairs of another by offensive means. Accessing stored email or secretly recording a spouse can be a violation of a spouse’s right to privacy. If a suit is filed, the damaged spouse may recover monetary damages, including punitive damages.
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