3 years ago upon returning from a business trip and sleeping next to my wife her computer rang and it was a video chat via skype from her old boyfriend. I didn’t answer the call, but touched the computer and their previous chats popped up. I did not input any password as the computer was already running. After realizing she was engaging in marital misconduct with this individual for years. (In fact, she had video sex with him the day prior). I copied every email between him and her from the computer. I printed the emails and confronted her about the situation. We decided to work on the marriage till earlier this year. She now has possession of the emails and has filed for divorce. What is the statute of limitations for possessing emails? Can I face possible civil and criminal charges Isn’t the computer considered marital property and I can have access to its contents?


There is no statute of limitations for possessing emails. I am not a criminal attorney, but recent case law discusses whether there is an expectatation of privacy in the communications and you cannot intercept emails.

I think legally it breaks down to what the expectation of privacy was on that computer and if that was violated at all.

For example most ‘home’ computers do not have the same right to privacy.

I am not an attorney, but I would imagine that if the computer was used by you as well (even if infrequently) then she may have waived her right to privacy. – Again this is just a speculation.