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Getting Your Hands on Text Messages to Support Claims of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence plagues far too many households across this country.  Disputes that become emotionally or physically abusive can have a devastating impact on victims, particularly children when they witness or become the brunt of an attack.  When attempting to assemble proof documenting such abuse, one might gather medical records, police reports, photos, and witness accounts.  An additional bit of evidence that might prove to be useful is text messages involving the abuser and yourself or other parties.  How difficult is it to obtain such records for use in your divorce case?  A local family practice attorney who is familiar with these situations can guide you.

A Serious Problem 

The truth of the matter is, women make up over 80 percent of victims of domestic violence.  In fact, another woman is victimized every 9 seconds somewhere in America every day.  Sadly, most victims never report the crime, shamefully covering for their abusers so that friends, colleagues, and even family often have no idea of what is occurring.  Studies indicate that 3.2 million children witness violence in their homes, and many of them are victimized themselves.  It takes fortitude to escape violent relationships, but somehow, more and more victims are finding the strength to get away from abusive partners.  Pursuing divorce proceedings is an excellent first step, and providing documentation of the abuse is very important.  Oftentimes getting text messages showing threats or abusive language can be useful.

How to Get Messages that are not on your own Phone 

While cell phone carriers generally do not retain text messages for more than a few days, it is possible to compel them to hold them for longer.  Your attorney can utilize the Stored Communications Act in order to request carriers to retain messages that might be relevant to your case.  Then a subpoena may be prepared, and your attorney can file an ex parte motion asking that relevant parties  consent to the release of particular messages pertinent to your case.

One Other Option

In some cases, your attorney may opt to utilize the Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents or Things to request copies of text messages on a particular phone.  It’s even possible to request the opportunity to actually examine the phone belonging to the person in question.  Sometimes a forensic dive into the hardware can reveal deleted messages worth having.

Moving Forward 

Following a life of fear and abuse, starting over can be frightening at first.  But putting the past behind you is the first step in starting a new life, one that you deserve.  At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC, it would be our privilege to assist you moving forward.  Contact our Baltimore family lawyers today to schedule a confidential consultation.





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