Legal Question in Technology Law in New York

spousal identity theft

In 11/03 I filed for a divorce & I obtained an order of protection from my husband. He was ordered to & removed from our marital residence. This was done through a NYS Supreme Court Judge. Six weeks later my case was placed through another judge and he allowed my husband to re-enter the residence but was to maintain a seperate bedroom & not to violate the order of protection.What a joke!!The very next day upon entering the residence he filed a false child abuse claim against me that has since been closed out as a false report. The judge realized his mistake & ordered him out of the residence again on 1/04. As this was a SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT - I never filed for a legal seperation as my lawyer advised me that my money & I assumed any posessions that I obtained after this date were legally mine-not accessible by him. My question is that I purchased a cell phone on 3/04. I was notified by my cell phone carrier that my husband had illegally set up an on-line account to access by cell phone bills/statements in 5/04.He used my name, DOB, cell phone# and SS#. It's HIS email address on the account-not mine. I have been advised that in NYS I cannot get him for Identity Theft as we are still married. Can you help?

Asked on 7/18/04, 2:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Friedman Law Office of John K. Friedman

Re: spousal identity theft

This is a tough area and a tough set of facts. The problem is that the wireless companies routinely deal w/ spouses making arrangements for utility-type services in each other's name. This is a relatively new area of law and the cases are not definitive yet which makes litigation more difficult (read "expensive"). The best thing for you to do is to call your wireless provider and verbally give them an order to allow only YOU to make adds/changes to the account. You can request a password in many cases. Pick something totally random but memorable -- like a vanity license plate you see on the street -- so your husband has no opportunity to guess it. DO NOT use your birthdate, your kids' birthdays or names, etc. You should request the name of the rep you speak with and tell him/her that you are following up with a written request -- get the address from her (and verify it via their web site). Send the request certified, return receipt requested and keep copies of everything including your contemporaneous notes of the phone call with the rep. In the future, if your husband again fools with your account, you will have a much easier time holding the provider responsible for it. You should also copy the court that issued the orders so it is in the loop and can see how your husband is behaving.

Do this with all accounts that are in your name or that affect your residence and any kids you have custody of.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/19/04, 10:14 am

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