What to do if someone is accessing your cell phone without permission?

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What to do if someone is accessing your cell phone without permission?

My boyfriend left my cell phone in his work truck and his boss still hasn’t given it to him. When he left the phone in the truck it was dead but now it is turned on and rings when you call. I have proof from my cell phone service provider that the phone has been turned on. I have personal pics and videos on that phone that are very private and he does not have my permission to look at them or to turn my phone on. He has made sexual comments to my boyfriend before about me and has caused my boyfriend to miss work because it makes him uncomfortable as well. I feel very embarrassed, uncomfortable, and used. Is there anything we can do about this legally?

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Taking a cell phone without permission is theft. You could report the boss to the police and/or sue him for its return.

2) Invasion of privacy is a tort--that is, the boss could be sued for invading your privacy, assuming he's doing things that the average reasonable person would find intrusive.

3) You could sue him for any charges he's run up in regards to calls, texting, etc.

4) If the boss has represented himself as your boyfriend in anyway (i.e. pretended to be him), that may be identify theft--a crime, and possibly grounds to sue.

5) It's possible the comments *may* constitute sexual harassment.

In short, there are several grounds under which the boss's actions are wrong. You and your boyfriend should consult with an attorney to explore exactly what mades sense for you to do. Good luck.


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