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I'm a mobile business office manager. I leave a computer (I…

Customer Question
I'm a mobile business...

I'm a mobile business office manager. I leave a computer (I own it) at one clients office. The client used my computer without my permission and had a 3rd party access all of my personal files, had them copied and then deleted all of them, terminated my contract, what recourse do I have.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

No. There isn't a manager in the company, that is what I am doing. The only other office staff is the owner.

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

I am not an employee, I work by contract or in this case by verbal agreement and I am paid monthly based on business activity. I receive a 1099 misc income

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Im not sure I even know what questions I should ask.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Business Law
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Answered in 38 minutes by:
12/24/2017
Business Lawyer: socrateaser, Attorney replied 3 months ago
socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,762
Experience: Retired
Verified

Hello,

Under federal law (10 U.S.C. § 1030), a person who suffers damage from the unauthorized access of a computer used or affecting interstate commerce whereby the defendant acquires information which is worth more than $5,000, is liable for the damages caused. Losses that may be awarded to the plaintiff include:

Response costs

Damage assessments

Restoration of data or programs

Wages of employees for these tasks

Lost sales from website

Lost advertising revenue from website

Harm to reputation or goodwill

Other costs if reasonable

If you do not have sufficient damages (which is unlikely, because the original time and effort required to produce the information lost almost certainly exceeds $5,000), then you would have to look to a state law in your jurisdiction that provides similar protections. Many (but, not all) states have such laws.

You can also report the matter to law enforcement, because the use of the computer without authorization is a criminal offense under the same federal (and very likely, state) law.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Ask Your Own Business Law Question
Business Lawyer: socrateaser, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,762
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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