Hacked email account

Prior to separation my spouse broke into my work webmail to try and gather information about me. Are these admissible in court?

I obviously did not know or approve of them doing this. They used the home computer, found the work webmail address and must have plugged away until they found a login and password that worked.

Information that was obtained illegally is not admissible in court.

You may also have a separate cause of action for damages in Federal Court under a law called the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701 et seq. I can’t speak for North Carolina Courts, but the South Carolina Court of Appeals recently allowed a claim against a spouses’ relative who accessed the husband’s email accounts without his permission and disclosed materials that helped establish an adultery claim.

D. Mays Dickey
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Greenville, SC 29601
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This is somewhat related to this question. I went for a consultation a couple of weeks ago and was told that what I found in my ex’s email is okay because he has “no reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Here’s the situation. He has several email accounts. The one that he has used for a LOT of communication with people about our current custody battle is an email address that I myself owned years ago. I set up the account for him. I set the password. He never changed it. He took out his suit for custody against me about six months ago, and in May, just on a whim (and feeling very, very angry because of the lies that are being told about me, and the behavior of him and his attorney), I tried the password. I hadn’t tried it before that, because for some insane reason, I thought it would not be playing “fair.” Wel, he has pushed and pushed and pushed, and I finally did it. Lo and behold, if this guy has still not changed his password. I found quite a bit in that email box–lots and lots of lies, a little bit of communication from his attorney (even his attorney once telling him that my request was reasonable, only to have my ex throw an e-tantrum with the attorney, and the attorney telling him what lie to tell me!).

So, was the attorney who told me that what I have found in that email box is fair game, correct? He had no reasonable expectation of privacy?

I did not change the password. I have not uesd the email account. I have not tampered with his mail at all, not in the least. I have merely taken screen shots of things I think might help me prove that the guy is a liar and is very unstable. Are these emails admissable?

I’m not sure the answer to your question, however I wonder if you’ve violated any kind of “attorney/client privilege” your husband may have had with his attorney (being as you read emails between him and his attorney). If so, I would suspect that could be a big problem for you.

Yes, the attorney was correct. This email account is a shared account and you did nothing wrong by accessing it,

So here’s my question on this issue… If you previously gave permission to someone that they can see your emails all they have to do is ask you, but then you find they were accessing it later without your knowledge and you told them to stay out of your accounts, then when you left they proceeded to change all of your passwords so they can access the accounts and you can not, this is illegal???
Also what if they used that to also access social websites and change the passwords on those?
And anything gained from the access is not acceptable by the court?


If they change your password and later accessed the account without your permission any evidence obtained should not be admitted as evidence in court.

Well, this last reply has me thinking about my shared email account. TRUE, I created the account. I assigned the name and the password. He has never changed it.

But he can he SAY that he changed it and I must have hacked into it? I’m just trying to think of all the objections that could come up . . .and I know how much he lies. I also know how much his attorney lies. Would it be up to me to prove that the password has never been changed? If so, how on earth does someone prove that?

That wouldn’t make sense. I’ve got screen snots of these emails going back a few months. If I Had changed the pw, surely by now he would have noticed. Disregard my question. Sorry.