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

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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