Non-Traditional Sources of Electronic Evidence

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Non-Traditional Sources of Electronic Evidence

There are lots of non-traditional sources of electronic and social media evidence that can be important to a divorce or family law case. Do you suspect your spouse of having an affair? Do you suspect that your spouse is using marital resources on prostitutes or gambling? There are ways of getting ample ESI relative to these areas.

One source that you might be missing is that of dating websites. These sites not only send email notifications to users, but can also send text messages and may use other applications, such as Facebook, to allow users access to updates. These sites have become numerous and, perhaps, oddly focused in recent years. Now, dating sites are not just limited to eHarmony and, but also OKCupid, FarmersOnly, Christian Mingle, Tinder, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, Ashley Madison (a site for “discreet affairs”), and many others. Then, if a party is not only using dating sites, but also soliciting prostitutes, there are sites such as Craigslist, Backpage, and The Erotic Review (a site for rating prostitutes) that you should look into.

Next, consider rewards programs. Many shopping, dining, gambling, and other venues will offer rewards programs based on purchases made through their system. If, for example, your client suspects his wife of gambling away their retirement, propound interrogatories relative to gambling memberships that can later lead to you rewards clubs that can be subpoenaed for information relative to the amount of money spent by that party. The same is generally true for shopping and dining.

You should also consider messaging functions in various applications. Many applications on cellular phone or tablet devices also contain messaging centers where friends or acquaintances can privately message each other. These can include applications such as Snapchat, described above, but can also include application-based games such as Words with Friends, Trivia Crack, and other popular multi-player games. These messages can be considered by users as being more “private” because the messaging feature is not the base feature of the application, and the messaging function might be overlooked by some unsuspecting parties.

Finally, look into monetary and budgeting applications (ex: Mint). These allow users to essentially aggregate their financial resources to determine how much they have available at any given time. This can include liquid assets, stocks, bonds, and various debt obligations. Gaining access to these applications can give you a detailed, accurate view of a person’s overall net worth. Often, concerns regarding fabrication and hiding of assets will be lesser here, as the applications seek to provide the user and no one else of the information. Seek all content through consent or subpoena.

Keywords: Social Media Evidence, Electronic Evidence, Divorce, Family Law


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