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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11135
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Does a husband have any rights to access his wifes mobile phone

Customer Question

Does a husband have any rights to access his wifes mobile phone to read deleted texts or calls without her permission. The husband has been told his wife has been having an affair. The bill is paid from a joint bank account?
The husband wants to find out if the affair is true without breaking the law.
The husband lives in Scotland
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
The husband has no such right in law. It is illegal to read or tamper with another person's mail, whether electronic or otherwise without permission.
This is a breach of section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/contents
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, many thanks for getting back to me but can i ask for further clarification as i read the following definition i researched on law websitesThe Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 covers the unauthorised interception of communication and includes fixed and mobile telephone lines, emails, tects and pager messages. A person `intercepts` a communication by making some or all of the content of a communication available "while being transmitted" to a person other than the sender or intended recipient of the communication. The police take the view that this legislation does not cover the reading of someones elses deleted voice mail messages unless they have not yet been read to by the intended recipient.If any person reads someones elses deleted text messages that they have already read from their phone it would not be done so during transmissionMy further and final questions on this matter are1. Is any item belonging to a husband and a wife, in a marriage, not of joint ownership?2. The wife has told the husband her passwords to some of her accounts ie email etc. If the wife has freely given the husband passwords to her accounts, does that constitute her giving him permission?3. Would the husband be breaking any law if he read information from accounts that the wife has given him the passwords to?4. What statutory law would a husband be breaking if he read text messages that have already been read from the wifes phone, without her permission?5. What is the fine/punishment for breaking the above laws?I greatly appreciate your assistance in this as i want to do everything in a proper and lawful manner.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. The 2000 Act concerns electronic interception, not picking up a phone and reading messages.
Answering your questions:
1. A phone would be a personal possession and would not be matrimonial property.
2. Telling someone a password ***** not automatically imply permission to look at the account. It depends on the circumstances whereby the password ***** disclosed.
3. Again that depends on the circumstances and whether permission to read the data was given.
4. The 1990 Act as advised above.
5. Maximum sentences are on summary conviction 6 months and/or unlimited fine. On indictment, 5 years and/or unlimited fine.