T Nation

Possible 5 Years in Jail for Reading Wife's Email



Heard this on the news earlier...

Y'know, I think I'll just keep to myself on this one.


What sort of lawyer actually chooses to go through with a case like this. How can you possibly try to send a guy to jail for finding our his wife was cheating on him .... what a joke. This shit makes me so angry. What is wrong with our laws.


I often open my wife's mail.

Come and get me, fuckers!


Same. And mine opens my email, in fact I'll leave it open and walk away. We have nothing in there that the other can't see, and we don't keep secrets from one another.


He should just say that it was left open, how can they prove he was some mastermind hacker like they tried to describe him as.


Are there community property laws in Michigan? If so, this case may never make it in front of a judge. I would think that community property would include emails as well. If the wife is going to claim that her husband violated her privacy I can't see this going far. I'm pretty sure there's no legal expectation of privacy in regards to property that is "shared". Where were the emails stored? Were they in her work-only email account? I suppose if that was the case then she might have something.

But then again, do courts treat emails like diaries or like something else? The article was a little vague. What exactly was the guy charged with? Identity theft? That won't hold up since there was no intent to actually steal her identity.


I know that blog omitted some huge details, such as her password was in a book next to the computer. That kind of shoots down the "hacking" nonsense. I posted this mainly because I'm shocked that it's even being tried.


Are you kidding? Its a divorce, you are talking about why there are private investigators as a job is because of divorce. People will actually kill their spouse to avoid getting a divorce and you are shocked that someone tried this? Sorry not to be an ass but this is minor. Like DB said a good lawyer would have this shit thrown out in 2 seconds.


Not kidding at all. It's going to trial according to that article, and I thought that meant that it had already been in front of a judge and not thrown out immediately. That's what bothers me, not that some bitch is trying to ruin the life of her ex. The lack of common sense displayed by judges is troubling.


Good point however 1. I would not trust any blog site and 2. he obvioulsy did not have a good lawyer. If they are criminal charges than this would have to go through a grand jury to be prosecuted. So that would mean 12 of his peers in the area felt that there was enough evidence to prosecute him for this.


Not kidding at all. It's going to trial according to that article, and I thought that meant that it had already been in front of a judge and not thrown out immediately. That's what bothers me, not that some bitch is trying to ruin the life of her ex. The lack of common sense displayed by judges is troubling.


As others have said, way too many details missing for any informed opinion or analysis. Apparently, there is a State Identity Theft statute that they are applying to this case. The prosecution is very unusual to say the least and would set a terrible precedent given that suspicious men and women everywhere have snooped in their significant other's or spouse's email, texts, phones, mail, - you name it.

I do disagree with DB though on one point. Assuming "expectation of privacy" is even an issue here, and I do not think that it is, there certainly is an "expectation of privacy" as it concerns personal communication, including emails. Where you access that personal communication from is irrelevant. You can argue it's a shared computer in their shared household and that's irrelevant - the email account was apparently hers alone, and it was password protected.

If it were a shared email account, there would be no such expectation. But this was clearly (although it did not explicitly say so it's a safe assumption) a private email account - I mean, the woman was using it to communicate to a lover right?

Now that's I'm wrestling with this in my thoughts, I think there are some interesting questions to be raised here. Until we know more about the case, I think the better discussion is this:

Putting aside for a moment that the woman was cheating, does entering into marriage carry some implicit surrender of all your personal privacy? Is every communication - whether written, spoken or otherwise, subject to examination and scrutiny? Now, I fully anticipate the argument that if you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide. Fair enough. But what of personal communications between friends? Do we have to share EVERYTHING...every utterance, every key stroke, every thought with our spouses??

I say no. I say we do not surrender our personal privacy when we enter into marriage. I say we remain individually "sovereign" and share what we desire to share and how we choose to engage in that information sharing and how important or how much is required by the relationship will reach it's needed equilibrium or, it will not and obviously the union would fail.



I've seen it multiple places so it's not just this blog. Agreed on point two, and if that is true then I'm even more concerned now than I was before.


^ Again good point. I could see it being scary for other people, but personally I dont even go through my wifes email. Just like I dont go through her purse. I just feel that sometimes in a marriage the spouse should have at least a little bit of privacy. I do not worry about her cheating, I dont get jealous.


I agree and said it after you posted.

I personally believe for a healthy and prosperous marriage there still should be privacy by both parties. It is healthy to respect your spouses privacy, again normal relationship. If both parties are in a co-dependent relationship with "issues" then there are bigger problems.


Yes BG and Yes DJHT! I you are at the point where you need to snoop your SO to see if they are cheating or hiding shit from you. You don't even need to find the evidence, just divorce and get it over with. I understand people with trust issues due to crappy past relationships. But thats about you not the SO, so if you can't get over it, don't ever get married. I been cheated on and lied to by long term Girlfriends. I don't however go through my wifes e-mail, text messages, or anything else that I consider HER personal property. If she want's to share something with me, great, if not, who cares.

One of the ideas about marriage that I dislike is this whole 2 become 1 idea. No you don't Each individual, is and always will be an individual. No social standards or laws will make it not so. The more you try to force that, the quicker things will break down. Each person has thier own path in life. If two peoples paths line up where they can walk hand in hand the rest of thier lives through marriage great. But nobody should be marching behind someone with a gun to thier back forcing them to stay on thier path. And if one goes off the path after a while, let em go. Someone else might decide your path is nice and want to share it with you.



Point 2 is just not correct, no offense. The grand jury process is not a trial before 12 of your peers. There's a saying in criminal law that any prosecutor worth his salt can indict a bologna sandwich. The grand jury process leaves very little room for a defendant to "defend".

It's basically a presentation of the prosecution's case, the law that applies and the grand jury makes a decision whether to indict. It's nothing like a trial, and there is no judge making rulings. Now that he's indicted, his lawyer is free to make various pre-trial motions, including a motion for dismissal.

I'm sure this case will be hard fought as it proceeds and I'm pretty doubtful it will reach a verdict. There will surely be some plea to a lesser charge in the future.


No problem BG, not my area of expertise and thats why I like to read things like this, real world experience of people.

How many are actually on a grand jury? Does that vary for region and case load?


Throughout my insurance career, most of you know that I have done personal protection work on the side. But I have also done some PI stuff too for law firms. The point is, if I wanted to snoop, or even listen surreptitiously, I'm the guy that could do it. And you know what? I would never want to. I DON'T WANT to know everything my significant other or wife says or writes.

I don't want to be troubled with it. I don't want to know her every thought. If she's cheating or unhappy, it will manifest itself in the relationship and it will obvious end. A little information can be a bad thing. And where does the examination of thoughts and communication end? Do you pick apart every sentence, every utterance and try to attach meaning (your meaning) to it?

I think if you're a secure individual, you cannot trouble yourself to be concerned with such things. If you're cheating on me, what can I do about it? I'll find out sooner than later and the relationship will simply end. Who wants to play detective and lawyer and all the stress that follows? Now, I don't think this guy necessarily was looking for trouble. He probably had a suspicion and he decided to investigate.

If he had a good reason to want to look, I'm not sure I'm so troubled by that. It's understandable, even if I might not have done that myself. However, if I were suspicious - legitimately so, and the password is right there, I'm pretty sure I'd take a look. I would not however take any herculean investigative efforts to do this.