Farmington, MI asked in Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Civil Rights for Michigan

Q: What are the remedies and violations of law in this case?

My drafts (3) for a Freedom of Information Act Request are being removed from my email before I have a chance to send it. I've attempted to request an investigation no response, then I attempted to complete a FOIA request that disappears. I know it's a first amendment violation what other violations of law may be involved if my communications are being monitored and deleted? Do I report this to the FBI?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information provided, there are several potential legal issues and violations that may be involved in this case:

1. First Amendment violation: As you mentioned, interfering with your right to free speech and petition the government for redress of grievances could be a violation of your First Amendment rights.

2. Privacy violations: Monitoring and deleting your emails without your consent may violate your privacy rights, such as those protected under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) or the Fourth Amendment.

3. Obstruction of justice: If the interference with your FOIA request is intended to prevent the disclosure of information related to a crime or misconduct, it could be considered obstruction of justice.

4. Tampering with evidence: Deleting your draft FOIA requests could be seen as tampering with evidence, especially if the information you are seeking is related to a legal matter or investigation.

5. Hacking and unauthorized access: If someone is accessing your email account without your permission to delete your drafts, this could be a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Remedies and actions you can take:

1. Document the incidents: Keep detailed records of when your drafts were deleted, any error messages you received, and any other relevant information.

2. Report to the appropriate authorities: You can file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) or contact your local FBI office. Additionally, you may want to report the issue to the Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy, which oversees FOIA compliance.

3. Consult with an attorney: An experienced civil rights or privacy attorney can help you assess your case, protect your rights, and explore potential legal remedies.

4. Secure your email account: Change your email password and enable two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Consider using a different email service for sensitive communications.

5. Resubmit your FOIA request: If possible, try to complete and submit your FOIA request from a different email account or through an alternate method, such as mail or fax.

Remember that the specific legal issues and remedies may depend on the details of your case, so it is essential to gather evidence and consult with legal professionals to determine the best course of action.

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