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I have a 6 year old daughter, mom has primary physical

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custody while we share joint...
I have a 6 year old daughter, mom has primary physical custody while we share joint legal in MinnesotaWhile on vacation out of state, I noticed mom had placed a cell phone with a working GPS location tracker in my daughter's bag and sent it along for her trip.We noticed that the device was present and had been recording our location after we reached our destination across the US.Mom had been notified, as required by our parenting plan, of our vacation 60 days prior to departing. She was given the address of my father's house that we were stating at via e-mail as also required.I powered the phone off and found MN statute 626A.35 which prohibits location tracking devices from being used without the other party's consent.What, if any, are my options for filing a criminal complaint and/or order of protection for harrassment/stalking in regard to this?
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
7/23/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,528
Experience: Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
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Good afternoon, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I'll be answering your questions today, please understand this is for informational purposes only, and we do not currently have an attorney-client relationship. I've reviewing your question, please allow me just a few minutes to prepare some information for you, thank you!

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Criminal Lawyer: Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago

To be honest, you might be hard-pressed to get criminal charges pressed against her for this.

Since the tracker was on the phone with your daughter, a minor, the mother would probably argue that she was wanting to make sure her daughter was safe, etc. (even though you have an agreed upon visitation/ vacation schedule) OR she may even be able to get your daughter to say that she knew the tracker was there and consented to it.

Rather, what I would recommend is that you bring this up to the family court judge that ordered your parental custody agreement.

The judge should be made aware of this situation and caution the mom accordingly. The judge could even decide to charge her with contempt for not abiding by the court's orders in regards ***** ***** and your vacation.

Additionally, you would have created a formal record for yourself, should any other upsetting behavior in violation of your parental agreement occur in the future.

I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more.The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for your reply,To clarify, even though this device was placed in my daughter's bag without our knowledge and successfully tracked our location inside, to and from many private residences, it is unlikely to have charges pressed because a 6 year old possibly consented? I'm confused as to how this defense give mom the ability to track the location of myself and my daughter's step-mother as well.I'm curious as to how this response seems to contradict the MN statue expressly forbidding tracking devices.Thanks!
Criminal Lawyer: Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago

No problem, I'll clarify. I understand it must be a very frustrating situation.

Understand I'm just giving you all of the angles as a former Prosecutor and as a current defense attorney, while also trying to recommend to you what might be most beneficial in your situation, such as reporting this to the family law judge handling your case.

This is a bit of unique situation, and is not exactly what the statute is typically used for. Since the device was on your daughter and not you, and since she is a minor, her mother/ mother's attorneycould be able to say that your daughter knew it was there and 'consented' or that she did not know the tracking element was turned on (since this was on a cell phone), or that the device was not on you and therefore this statute is not applicable at all.

Please note this does not prevent you from reporting this to the police, or speaking with a local prosecutor and pursuing criminal charges, you can still certainly to do so. I just wanted to let you know that you may not receive the outcome you were expecting or hoping for, and to also recommend a useful tactic of going before your family court judge as well.

I hope that helps!

Please don't shoot the messenger, aka by not leaving a positive rating for me :) -- as my job is to simply inform you on how the law is practiced. Thanks!

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Criminal Lawyer: Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hi! Just checking in to see if you have any more questions? I hope I was able to address all of your concerns. Please let me know, I'm here to help. Thanks!

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Nisha Jones, Esq.
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