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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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can I be prosecuted for reading spouses email in new hampshire

Resolved Question:

can I be prosecuted for reading spouses email in new hampshire
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello there


Do you have common access to the same computer or computers ?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
in home
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
need answer asap
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello again


I apologize -- this just came back across my desk. First, even if the computer were your husband's computer for his exclusive use and no one else every used the computer, you cannot be prosecuted criminally in NH or any other state for looking at his email. The main question is whether or not you could be sued by him for invasion of privacy under the privacy law cases in NH and elsewhere -- and if the computer was his for exclusive use that you were not generally permitted to use, then you could be sued for going into the computer and hacking into his email (assuming you did not know the passwords) on an invasion of privacy charge. However, under the circumstances where there is a common computer in use in a home no member of the household could sue any other member of the household for reading emails or going into any other sites on the computer that were set up by one of the parties using the computer -- even if the sites are password XXXXX It is generally expected that when several people use and access the same computer that they will all have access to each others email accounts and other websites that were set up "exclusively" by any one person.


I usually get this question when a spouse is on a computer and whether accidentally or on purpose opens the other spouse's email and finds evidence of an affair or online gambling or a few other things that the other spouse should not be doing and certainly not on the family computer -- and the spouse who is hiding those items gets angry and threatens to have the innocent spouse arrested. The police are not interested in anything involving a common family computer unless there is something of a generally illegal nature happening on it (such as solicitation of minors or another crime).


I hope that helps.




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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so no felony charge? I looked at his emails on his I touch that I was previously "sllowed acess" to....however when I realized he was cheating I read his emails He told me specifically that this is a felony.
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello there


No it is not -- you had access and if you knew the password XXXXX is even better. If he wanted to keep them private he should change the password XXXXX add one so you cannot get in. That is his problem. The police would not get involved and would tell him to go and hire a divorce lawyer.


I do wish you the best of luck -- the same thing has happened to me in the past.



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