Legal Question in Telecomm Law in Texas

I Am 17 and my mother stole my phone and read through all my text messages with a few people. Is it illegal for her to do that since it is an invasion of my privacy and also my friends privacy?

Asked on 9/10/12, 4:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

You are not going to like my answer.

You are under the age of 18.

You are not an adult in the State of Texas.

The moment you turn 18 you are considered an adult.

The day you turn 18 you can leave your parents home.

However, you cannot take anything that belongs to your parents.

If they purchased the phone that you use, it belongs to them.

If your computer was purchased by them, it belongs to them.

If they purchased the clothes you wear, they belong to them too.

There is an excellent booklet that is probably available on-line called "Now that you are 18". It was published by the Young Lawyers of the State of Texas.

Right now you are still a minor so it is legal for her to do it.

As a minor, you have no rights and no expectation of privacy.

Additionally, the phone did not have a passcode so there was no expectation of privacy - you left it "open" to anyone accessing their messages. Any stranger could have picked up the phone and read your text messages.

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Answered on 9/11/12, 9:55 am

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