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Theft of text messages

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22 replies to this topic

#1
L.A.Hog

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Is it legal for someone to obtain a person's cel phone,copy text messages and use them in court without the owner's permission.

Thanks for any input.I figure some of you may have heard about this type of thing and someone I care about needs the info.

#2
razorhead

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Tell him not to be texting his girlfriend. It's fair game. Trust me

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#3
L.A.Hog

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View Postrazorhead, on 24 January 2014 - 09:15 PM, said:

Tell him not to be texting his girlfriend. It's fair game. Trust me

No affairs,personal conversations.

#4
smokeyone

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If it is incriminating I would think its inadmissible under 4th and 5th amendment protections.

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#5
Neil Caudle is Superman

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View PostL.A.Hog, on 24 January 2014 - 07:31 PM, said:

Is it legal for someone to obtain a person's cel phone,copy text messages and use them in court without the owner's permission.

Thanks for any input.I figure some of you may have heard about this type of thing and someone I care about needs the info.

Civil case or criminal?
Was the phone stolen, borrowed without the owner's knowledge, etc.? If it was borrowed/used without the owner's knowledge, was there a reasonable expectation by the person who borrowed it that it was OK to borrow it/use it established by being allowed to borrow it/use it in the past?
The exclusionary rule doesn't really apply to citizens like it does to law enforcement, but if someone more or less stole the phone to obtain the text messages it's going to hurt their credibility and the credibility of the validity of the messages in question.

Can it be 100% proven that the text messages were sent by the person in question or that they even came from his/her phone? If they just copied them and printed them off, that's not gonna have the same electronic records that the actual texts would have and it's gonna be hard for whoever it is to get the court to subpoena the actual verified message records from the phone company. The burden of proof will be on whoever wants to use the messages as evidence, so if they can't rule out that anyone else could've been on the phone sending the messages in question, I can't see that holding up in court.

#6
L.A.Hog

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The phone was taken from the person's vehicle while she was distracted away until her texts were photo copied.Is it illegal to do this?

It seems to me that no matter what was in the texts it would be like stealing someone's mail out of their mailbox which is illegal.

This isn't a life or death situation here,it's just curiosity.Seems folks should be protected from any kind of invasion of privacy.

#7
RammaJamma

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The way phones are today not having a security code to unlock it is asking for trouble. I have it on mine if not anyone picking it up could access banking apps Facebook all kinds of stuff.

We've made some pretty good status updates on some of the guys at works Facebook, took a pic of someones ass and made it their wallpaper
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#8
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View PostL.A.Hog, on 24 January 2014 - 09:52 PM, said:

The phone was taken from the person's vehicle while she was distracted away until her texts were photo copied.Is it illegal to do this?

It seems to me that no matter what was in the texts it would be like stealing someone's mail out of their mailbox which is illegal.

This isn't a life or death situation here,it's just curiosity.Seems folks should be protected from any kind of invasion of privacy.

No, that's not legal; hell, just entering another person's vehicle without permission is illegal, as is the theft of the phone.

And I think a warrant is necessary to actually obtain the conversations.

In any event, I always knew I'd be glad I avoided that texting "trend"... if it's that important that you need to communicate with me, Posted Imageing call me.
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#9
SECats

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I think that text messages for court proceedings have to have a subpoena filed with the carrier.

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#10
Neil Caudle is Superman

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View PostL.A.Hog, on 24 January 2014 - 09:52 PM, said:

The phone was taken from the person's vehicle while she was distracted away until her texts were photo copied.Is it illegal to do this?

It seems to me that no matter what was in the texts it would be like stealing someone's mail out of their mailbox which is illegal.

This isn't a life or death situation here,it's just curiosity.Seems folks should be protected from any kind of invasion of privacy.

Definitely not admissible in court given those circumstances, but as far as it being legal, a lot depends on if the person that copied the texts had a reasonable expectation to be allowed in the car or on the phone based on previous interactions... For instance, if you had a buddy that always came over to hang out at your house and you told him where you'd hidden a key outside in case he ever got there before you and one day you found him sitting in your chair drinking one of your beers when you got home, you couldn't have him charged with B&E or burglary because he had a reasonable expectation that it'd be OK for him to be there.

If the person who copied the texts had been allowed in your friend's car and allowed to play with her phone in the past, it'll be hard to press charges (that stick) for entering an auto unless your friend explicitly stated to this person that it was no longer OK to do it. If this person knew they had no business being in your friend's car, she ought to press charges for that ASAP.
Either way they're not going to be admissible in court under those circumstances unless you've got Mark Emmert as the judge and Nick Saban is the one who stole the texts, then I'm sure anything would fly.

#11
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civil or criminal? either way dont ever text anyone anything that can ever be used against you
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#12
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View PostGidnik, on 25 January 2014 - 03:37 PM, said:

civil or criminal? either way dont ever text anyone anything that can ever be used against you,sincerely Brett Favre


#13
L.A.Hog

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This young lady didn't give permission to anyone to view her texts,but let's forget about the court part,can these people be prosecuted for theft,invasion of privacy,etc.

She's been slandered based on personal messages which were no ones business but her own.Most taken out of context or were just joking with friends.

And Gidnik is 1000000000% correct.Never text to ANYONE anything that can bite you in the ass later.

#14
Neil Caudle is Superman

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View PostL.A.Hog, on 25 January 2014 - 05:13 PM, said:

This young lady didn't give permission to anyone to view her texts,but let's forget about the court part,can these people be prosecuted for theft,invasion of privacy,etc.

She's been slandered based on personal messages which were no ones business but her own.Most taken out of context or were just joking with friends.

And Gidnik is 1000000000% correct.Never text to ANYONE anything that can bite you in the ass later.

Oh hell yeah, if she can prove that they entered her vehicle without permission  and stole something from it, even something digital rather than physical, it's a theft.
The obstacles will be... How long ago it happened (If it was not really recently police are gonna wonder why she didn't report it until later) and whether or not they left any evidence, i.e. fingerprints, on the phone or car and whether or not it is still there if they did. If they can be caught with the text messages on their devices that'd be pretty nice too, but that'd take search warrants.

Sounds like she ought to at least call police and report it. I have no idea what Arkansas' laws for computer-related crimes are, but Georgia's is as follows:

Quote

16-9-93

(a) Computer theft. Any person who uses a computer or computer network with knowledge that such use is without authority and with the intention of:

(1) Taking or appropriating any property of another, whether or not with the intention of depriving the owner of possession;

(2) Obtaining property by any deceitful means or artful practice; or

(3) Converting property to such persońs use in violation of an agreement or other known legal obligation to make a specified application or disposition of such property

shall be guilty of the crime of computer theft.


...

...


© Computer Invasion of Privacy. Any person who uses a computer or computer network with the intention of examining any employment, medical, salary, credit, or any other financial or personal data relating to any other person with knowledge that such examination is without authority shall be guilty of the crime of computer invasion of privacy.


And the punishment...


Quote

(1) Any person convicted of the crime of computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, or computer forgery shall be fined not more than $50,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.


Technically I think that text messages would be considered your friend's property, but she'd prolly have an easier time in court on the computer invasion of privacy charge... She ought to figure out what her state's laws are and ask police to charge the bastards with everything they can so that at least something sticks in court. Sounds like they were being pretty vindictive about the whole thing.

The main thing is I only know Georgia laws so I can't say for sure that every other state has similar laws, it just would make sense that every state has something in place to deal with digital crime by now... Her state might not word things the same way, but I bet the gist of the law is probably pretty close to GA's.



#15
L.A.Hog

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View PostNeil Caudle is Superman, on 25 January 2014 - 08:58 PM, said:



Oh hell yeah, if she can prove that they entered her vehicle without permission  and stole something from it, even something digital rather than physical, it's a theft.
The obstacles will be... How long ago it happened (If it was not really recently police are gonna wonder why she didn't report it until later) and whether or not they left any evidence, i.e. fingerprints, on the phone or car and whether or not it is still there if they did. If they can be caught with the text messages on their devices that'd be pretty nice too, but that'd take search warrants.

Sounds like she ought to at least call police and report it. I have no idea what Arkansas' laws for computer-related crimes are, but Georgia's is as follows:

[/indent]

And the punishment...




Technically I think that text messages would be considered your friend's property, but she'd prolly have an easier time in court on the computer invasion of privacy charge... She ought to figure out what her state's laws are and ask police to charge the bastards with everything they can so that at least something sticks in court. Sounds like they were being pretty vindictive about the whole thing.

The main thing is I only know Georgia laws so I can't say for sure that every other state has similar laws, it just would make sense that every state has something in place to deal with digital crime by now... Her state might not word things the same way, but I bet the gist of the law is probably pretty close to GA's.


Thank you,the people she is dealing with are very vindictive since what they stole backfired on them.The momma isn't through so she needs to know there is punishment or quit.

Thanks for taking the time to help.A big thanks.

By the way,we're not talking about what is considered trailer trash folks here.These are people that ought to know better but can't handle not having the upper hand.

Edited by L.A.Hog, 25 January 2014 - 09:30 PM.







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