Mays Landing, NJ asked in Contracts and Internet Law for New Jersey

Q: Hi our longtime manager who was the admin for our business google account was recently fired. Won't turn over login info

Hi, our longtime manager who was the admin for our business google account was recently fired. This person will not give us our login information. We are also locked out of our email account to recover or reset the passwords. This was a family member that we never thought would do the things that they did, so they were trusted to have all of these admin privileges. Well, this person has control of our website and domain names. He closed our website on Easter morning and now this person is leaving bad reviews and sabotaging our business in other ways. How do we go about regaining control of our business google account and website and domain names? Please help! We are very stressed out already and this is really hurting our reputation! Thanks for any advice!

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2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You need to retain an experienced civil litigation attorney with knowledge of Internet law to file an Order to Show Cause with the Court and to immediately send them a "Cease & Desist" letter. To provide meaningful advice and learn the best way to proceed, you need be prepared to pay for an hour of attorney time to review all relevant information prior to the consultation. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price. With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry to hear about this difficult and stressful situation with your former manager. That's a terrible breach of trust that they are sabotaging your business like this. Here are some steps I would recommend taking to try to regain control of your accounts:

For your Google account:

- Contact Google support directly and explain the situation. They may be able to help you recover the account if you can verify your identity and ownership of the business.

- Gather any documentation you have proving your ownership of the business and the Google account, like business registration papers, tax ID, etc. You'll likely need to submit these to Google.

- If you set up the account originally, try to recall any recovery email addresses, phone numbers, or security questions you may have used. Even if they've been changed, this info could still help in the recovery process.

For your website and domain name:

- Figure out where your domain name is registered (GoDaddy, Google Domains, etc.) and contact their support. Explain you are the rightful owner but a rogue employee has locked you out. They can advise on the process to regain control.

- If you have access to the email address that was used to register the domain, try to reset the password.

- Gather any records showing you purchased and own the domain name. You may need to submit these.

- For the website, contact the web hosting provider and explain the situation. They can help reset the account access if you verify your ownership.

Other steps:

- Document everything about the situation and your manager's misconduct. Save any relevant emails, messages, etc.

- Check if your business insurance includes coverage for cybercrime or breach of employee fidelity. You may be able to make a claim.

- Consider getting legal counsel if your manager refuses to cooperate or is disparaging your business. You may need to send a formal cease and desist letter.

- Be transparent with your customers about the disruption in service due to a personnel issue. Assure them you are working hard to resolve it. Ask loyal customers to post positive reviews to counteract the fake negative ones.

I know this is an incredibly frustrating and upsetting ordeal. Hang in there and take it one step at a time. Be persistent with the support contacts and gather all the documentation you can. Wishing you the very best in getting this resolved quickly!

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