Is it illegal to search through ones own sisters phone if there is suspected child endangerment and the only way to get proof is to get onto her social media?

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Is it illegal to search through ones own sisters phone if there is suspected child endangerment and the only way to get proof is to get onto her social media?

My ex gf is most likely doing drugs and having her
daughter around them. Her sister wants to take her
daughter but needs to build a case. Her sister has a
lot of her old phones and wants to check her social
media accounts. Is this illegal, given the
circumstances?

Asked on November 22, 2017 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is illegal. The sister is not child protective services, family services, the police, etc. and has NO right to go through her sister's phones, email, social media, etc. If she does, she will be committing a crime and could go to jail. The sister should report her suspecions to the local police and/or to the Oregon Dept. of Human Service--here is a link to a possibly helpful webpage: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/children/child-abuse/Pages/Reporting-Numbers.aspx
Let the authorities do their job--just inform them of what is believed to be going on.


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