People v Walker

Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Spousal Privacy Law Appeal


The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected the interlocutory appeal from a man charged under Michigan's "unauthorized computer access" statute for allegedly hacking into his former wife's computer.

Leon Walker suspected his wife was having an affair. He was a computer technician for Oakland County, here in Michigan. Earlier in his marriage, he had gifted a computer to his wife and helped her set it up. Allegedly, he was able to gain access to her emails to locate proof of her ongoing affair.

Walker has challenged his prosecution in this case right out of the box. He moved to quash the information. When that was denied by Oakland Circuit Judge Martha Anderson, he appealed, twice, to the Court of Appeals.

This Order from the Michigan Supreme Court denies leave for further appeal. The order is significant in that Walker's case will now apparently proceed to trial. An interesting trial sure to be covered by the media.

Also, the order is very interesting to the extent that at least two High Court Justices, Markman and Young, apparently agree, at least in theory, with dissenting Justice Marilyn Kelly, that the conduct alleged to have occurred in the case may lie outside the scope of the act.

The Justices are also concerned that "email" may not properly fit into the categories enumerated in the act, that the legislature has drafted a bill to amend the act on which this case was charged, and that the language of the statute as it sits today may criminalize a wide variety of conduct never intended by the legislature to be criminal.

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Published In: Criminal Law Updates, Privacy Updates

Reference Info:Decision | State, 6th Circuit, Michigan | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Timothy Flynn, Clarkston Legal | Attorney Advertising

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