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Is it illegal to look at someones facebook page on their…

Is it illegal to look...
Is it illegal to look at someones facebook page on their computer? That seems like a silly question but my ex let me borrow her computer a week ago and she happened to be logged into her facebook account on it. Now I will say that I haven't "opened" anything per say but when she gets a text message from certain people it pops up on my screen. Honestly, I've been ignoring them but I haven't done anything to stop it from happening either. I'm sure that there are some privacy laws that are broken, but what can come of it?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/22/2018
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,598
Experience: Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
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Good morning, I am an attorney expert with the JustAnswer website, and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I have a near 100% customer satisfaction rate, and I'll be answering your questions today. JustAnswer provides general legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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No, based on the information that you've shared, no illegal activity has occurred here.

There were not privacy laws broken either and she provided you the computer, with the facebook account left open.

There's not any legal recourse that you need to worry about here.

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any other questions about this. 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 (5 stars are always appreciated). 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 1 month ago
Would I be able to use the information I came across against her? I'm just curious about what the law says regarding such... after all, the messages I am seeing are not meant for me. however, I have noticed a few from a friend of hers that discuss illegal activity. I'm not looking to use any of them against her but what does the law say about my ability to access those "private" messages? If I turned one in to the police could she say that I was stalking her?

It really depends on the situation.

Based on what you've described there wouldn't be a basis for a stalking allegation, but if there were other facts or behavior that appeared to constitute stalking, then that would be a separate matter.

You could also potentially run into some civil matters for disclosing information from her account to the police, such as a defamation lawsuit for example.

The police may or may not choose to act on any information you give them, however if the evidence cannot be legally authenticated, then it cannot be used in court.

For example, the police would need a subpoena or warrant to access her FB account, they cannot simply enter a document that's an alleged message that a third party (you) printed off of her account.

I hope that helps clarify!

Don't forget to rate so I can be credited for my time and help with your question, thanks!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It does but there is more... I am actually engaged in a lawsuit with her "friend" that is discussing illegal activity. Long story short, she had my civil case against a group of businessmen dismissed when she lied to the judge (about four months ago), and I have seen a text message pop up from her to my wife admitting that she lied. I would like to use that text message but there is no question that if I submit it, she will fight back. Sorry I wasn't straight with you at first
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I am not worried about a civil matter, I am only worried about criminal...

You can't get into any criminal trouble for looking at your wife's facebook account that she left open on a computer that she shared with you.

The friend could run into criminal and or civil trouble for perjury.

The statements from the facebook account could potentially be used if authenticated by your wife, since it is her fb account.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks, ***** ***** don't see any criminal problems if I submit it to the court without my wife's consent?

Not any criminal problems, but the court cannot accept that as evidence without the proper authentication.

Which means either your wife's account needs to be subpoenaed or she needs to testify.

I hope that helps!

Don't forget to rate, thanks!

Nisha Jones, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,598
Experience: Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
Verified
Nisha Jones, Esq. and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
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If you have any more questions in the future and would like my help, please feel free to reach out to me here at JustAnswer by posting a new question, and adding "For Nisha" to the first part of your question. I'd be happy to help. Best of luck to you, take care!

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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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