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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Is using an email taken from a persons private and personal

Resolved Question:

Is using an email taken from a persons private and personal email address without permission, then used to remove a person or persons from a Board of Directors legal
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask briefly how the email was used to remove a director please?

Joshua :

How was the email accessed? Do you know who accessed the email?

Customer:

The email was taken from the chairman's private email address by a person employed by him in his business who also was employed by the Rugby League Club that the Board of Directors were serving.

Customer:

The email was used in way of the employee in question's father was also on the Board of Directors, he exaggerated and twisted the email to suit his own means when he presented it to the BoD

Customer:

When asked how he came to have the email he told the Board that his son had given it to him.

Joshua :

Thanks. Was the individual given access to the email account as part of his employment or did he not have routine access? Did he access it using a password ***** was the email routinely left open for access to anyone "passing"?

Customer:

There was/is a company email address that is open to the office along with individual private email addresses. I am not 100% sure if the email address I question is password ***** as the then Chairman never informed us.

Customer:

I should suggest it was protected as personal and business mail would be going through this address regarding his business and the clubs business that could be private to the Chairman only.

Joshua :

Thanks. If the individual illegally accessed the email account - ie. he did not have routine access to it - then he may be guilty of an offence under the Computer Misuse Act and the injured party may consider complaining to the police if they have evidence of his wrong doing. In addition if information was unlawfully accessed and then used for the other party's gain, then there may be a case for suing the individual for loss if it caused the person whose account was accessed loss.

Joshua :

From what you say it was another person that was removed from the board rather than the person whose account was accessed? Was the information used in the email true?

Customer:

The email was taken and used to remove two people (myself and the then Chairman from the BoD) I was theperson who sent the email in question.

Customer:

The new Chairman took the email and presented it to the other board members without asking for any explanation, or reason why. Then without consultation with myself or the old Chairman decided it would be in the best interest of the club if we resigned.

Customer:

The then Chairman is proceeding through the channels with the police regarding the actual taking of the email, I would like to ask the question "Is using a known stolen email to remove someone from a BoD legal" what options are open to me as the sender of the email in order to redeem myself as the content was exaggerated and twisted to suit.

Joshua :

Thanks for the concise explanation. From what you say the taking of the email is likely to have been both a breach of the individuals employment duties and also potentially a criminal offence and the individual and employer concerned could purue employment and/or criminal claims/actions. However as it was not your email account that the email was taken from it is not possible for you to directly take action against the individual concerned. If any claims were made against you by the individual or for that matter by another then it may be that you would have a claim for libel or slander but such claims can be very expensive to pursue. However it does not follow that you can necesarily be removed from the board of directors as a consequence of the above steps.

Joshua :

Could you tell me if the club on which you sat on the board is constituted as a company or as a private members club? If a company, is it limited by share or guarantee?

Joshua :

Have you agreed to resign or have you simply been removed?

Customer:

It is limited company, deliberate exaggerations and lies were told when presenting the email.

Customer:

We were given no alternative, resign or I firmly believe be removed

Joshua :

Thanks. Is the company limited by guarantee or shares? Did you agree to resign in the circumstances?

Customer:

The company is limited by shares (Debentures). I asked the question of the BoD I suppose you want me to resign, the old Chairman had resigned already. The answer back was we think you should.

Customer:

I did inform them as did the old chairman that we are determine to take this further as we were in total disagreement of what has been done.

Joshua :

Thanks. You cannot just be required to resign. You can agree to resign of course but if you refuse then the only way you can be forced is by an action to remove you. To do so requires a majority vote from the shareholders (unless the percentage required has been varied in the companies constitution) following notice of a special resolution. If you have agreed to resign and have done so then this will not assist however if you have not yet resigned and do not feel you should then you can state your position to the board and advise that you will put your position to a shareholder vote having set out the reasons to them that you do not think you should resign. Unless the required majority is reached then you cannot be removed.

Joshua :

If you have resigned already then the above will not assist and I think in these circumstances you would be limited to seeking a claim for defamation if you can show that lies were told about you and you can show financial loss by recreational damage but as above such actions can be expensive to pursue and therefore risky unless you have relatively deep pockets.

Joshua :

Is the above of some assistance?

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

thank you, you have been very helpful

Joshua :

I am glad it has been of some assistance. If you think of any further questions on the above please do not hesitate to revert to me.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

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