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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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When an Email is delivered to me, at that point, does it become

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When an Email is delivered to me, at that point, does it become my property to do whatever I want to with it?
For example I have a business partner who includes the following statement on all Emails she sends " This Email is for, (she puts my name, her name XXXXX XXXXX & Mr David C - someone I don't know) does not have my permission to be copied or forwarded to any other persons...Thank you XXXXX XXXXX"
Does that statement legally bound me to not send it on to my other partner? or since she has sent it to me it becomes mine to do what ever I want to with it.
Thanks for your help
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

The second the email hits one's inbox, it is their property completely and 100%. Even if the email was sent to you else by mistake, it is still "yours."

This is very much akin to an envelope being addressed to you but having a letter for someone else. That is the sender's mistake, but you take possession of the letter and it is yours.

There is no legal obligation of someone to let the sender know of the mistake, although many receivers do.

The email (or letter) is free to be shared/replicated by the receiver within reason provided that it does not cause invasion of privacy (see here) which may be cause for a civil suit by a sender.

The email cannot bind someone to take action (forwarding it, or, otherwise).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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