Legal: Disgruntled ex-friendthreatening over disconnect
My basic question is this:
If I have a personal assocaites an/ or a customer's site on my server - are there laws, and if so what are they, about whether I can disconnect the sites and/or when I can disconnect them?
An ex-personal friend whom I did hundreds of hours of work for mostly free is threatening me with criminal charges and civil action (they actually threaten to get involved with my child custody case too in a separate email), because I disconnected a site which he never paid for, as well as the relay which forwarded his the DNS to a site which was not on my server. (one site was a blog hosted on typepad servers, and the other was an online directory which utilized a subdomain of his blogs primary domain name. Because of the way typepad works, the only way to get both the typepad blogs DNS to work and the directory site's subdomain to work at the same time was to forward everything to my nameservers and then reroute appropriately.)
All I ever got paid for was setting up the blog about 2 years ago. I setup and hosted the directory site for free (except for a small amount of advertising). Because he offended me to a personal degree which I cannot appropriately explain here I decided to cut him loose from my server (the decision took months). I touched absolutely nothing of his at Network solutions or at his typepad site.
This person is being very aggressive and is very open to misstating facts. << removed by request >>
Last edited by writespeak; 11-14-2006 at 12:09 PM.
Did he get free hosting from you? If yes, then you cant hold his files for non-payment.. If you have his files, its your job to give him his files.. it is against the law to with hold someones files / data from them..
If part of your agreement with him was to do the *paid* work for him and he never paid, then I think you should be fine.. however, I would contact a local attorney.. They give FREE CONSULTATION on the first meeting... I learned this a month ago when I was in the midst of getting sued by Peer1 because a reseller of theirs changed the info to my name..
Good luck with it and let me know how it goes for you.
My personal opinion would be to consult an attorney in your area that specializes in technology law (both criminal and civil) and get their professional opinion.
From dealings within my own company I have learned no matter how close a friend, family or client is - everything MUST BE IN WRITING to prevent things like this from happening. Even though I have a couple of people I do not charge for hosting we do have a written contract in place showing what I will and will not provide for them. A breach of contract will get their site suspended or removed from my servers and they know this before they put their site up.
Your friend's letter is very broad in what you have done and what he is going to file and it may simply be a scare tactic to try to get you to put his site back online. Again, seeking professional advice in your local area would be the best idea since laws change from state to state.
I'd imagine that you have a leg to stand up on then...
TERMINATION FOR NON-PAYMENT
Though, I would advise you to consult a legal attorney in your state -- again, do the free consultation.. also talk about "what if" it goes to court, do you sue for payment of the work, harassment, etc??
has threatened my family, my child's welfare, and my ability to see my child. I'm not willing to add "living in fear" from them as one more thing that makes me feel poorly about this situation. Just to show that I'm not kiddding though here is their reply to my telling them that I would respond to their slanderous and completely dishonest posts about my company, which they made on their site:
....I will contact [my ex's name] so she knows she can expect testimony from me when it's time to take a custody agreement to court.
I appreciate everyone's replies so far, but collectively we've got nada on actually knowing whether we as we webhosts have any protection from someone who wants to just persecute the heck out of us in court and slander our business online. Not to sound hysterical, but right now I'm feeling like if someone is connected to my server, I should be prepared to provide service for life if they get "mean and nasty" because theres no protection for us? (contracts don't override law, which is what I'm really trying to find out about)
I'll be googling some stuff over the next few days and will report back on anything I find...
I can see where your coming from. I'm sure every host here has a few friends websites they host for free. You should have the ability to delete anyone's website if they were not paying for it. They never signed or paid for any service. This would be called a personal favor that is no longer being given anymore. I hope you sent him some sort of letter telling him your no longer going to be hosting his site/dns/whatever for free, find another host as i'm taking it down in x days. But honestly, you shouldn't have to do that either.
This guy is hoffing and puffing. My defene would be that I let this guy host his site on my server for free as a peronsal favor. Overtime, this option was no longer viable and I had to remove him from the server and now hes pissed that he has to go somewhere and pay for it. .. I would ignore this guy. It would take him quite sometime to convice the police to arrest you. IF its even possible.
JUST IGNORE HIM. and hold that email that he is threathing to testify agaisnt you for the child... this will come in handy when he goes to the stand.
Without knowing all the details of this situation, I would expect this to be a scare tactic. I don't understand how he claims he has "criminal" charges against you for just taking his site offline. Unless there's something else to this story that you have not said. Personally, as the others have mentioned, don't talk about it and paste anything. I'd go as far as contacting the moderators here and asking them to remove that post you made with the letter contents. Then contact an appropriate attorney who specializes in hosting/technology.
Still though, I think this ex-friend of yours is just one of those people who blows up if something is not going there way. The way I see it, you did him a favor and as long as you give him back his files/content you can take him offline at any time you please.
Good luck with this
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Ok I am no lawyer but This is guy is full of ............
1 You have the right to refuse services to anyone
2 It is the clients responsibility to backup the clients IP
3 If the client has not paid you for services "hosting service" THEY ARE NOT A CLIENT and do not have "clients rights"
4 This guy is full of crap.
They no longer ban computer use in LA, Kevin Mitnik was banned from using computers only as part of a plea bargain and it was only as a result of this plea bargain.
While Adrian Lamo was on trial NY toyed with the notion of banning computer criminals while on probation but that has been stalled.
The important thing to note is that these were both very High profile cases that do not match your situation in any way.
The notion that he can run down to the court house and have you banned from "anything" is ridiculous and plain ignorant.
Obviously you might feel as though the world is closing in on you due to your custody case but let me assure you that this guy is off his rocker.
The guy is full of hot air. As I always do, I would recommend that you speak to a flesh and blood attorney.
1. Based on what you've said so far, there is no basis for any criminal complaint against you at all. That he says this shows that he is, at best, a complete idiot.
2. Based on what you've said so far - allowing for the fact that people can and sue each other over nonsense issues - he also has no basis for any civil complaint. There is no requirement that any business provide services without being compensated for those services. Short of a contract between the two of you that spells out that he is entitled to use your service for a period of time without paying, he has little chance of winning any such suit. In fact, if he tries it and it's tossed, you could very well countersue him to recoup costs borne by you as a result of a frivolous action brought by him.
What you should point out to him (better yet, have your attorney point this out to him) is that slander and libel are actionable offenses. Third party intrusion into a case where they have no standing (such as your child custody issues) can also be grounds for action.
Don't speak to this guy, don't email him, don't respond to any emails, don't address any of his bs with your ex or anyone else. Refer everything to your attorney. That's why attorneys get paid.
First, you need to consult with your attorney immediately. I imagine, since you are battling with a child custody case, that you already have one.
Print out copies of the emails that threatens to make your custody case difficult because you disconnected his website...that alone will negate a lot of his testimony, and make his motives highly suspicious, in any judge's eyes.
Second, you need to stop communicating with him IMMEDIATELY. Don't argue, don't debate, don't refute anything he says. Just stop ALL communications. Send one final email to him telling him:
1. Here is the link to your files, you have 72 hours to download them.
2. I will leave your DNS active for 72 hours, in which time you need to make provisions to manage it yourself.
3. No further communications from you will be accepted and all further attempts will be forwarded to my attorney. (and DO IT)
Again, consult with your attorney immediately. Taking legal advice from a message board is reckless, at best.
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