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Boy, 16, sues his mother for harassing him on Facebook as she argues it's her 'parental duty'



By Paul Thompson

Last updated at 5:58 PM on 8th April 2010




'It's just like going through his bedroom... it's my duty': Denise New, who is being sued by her son Lane for going through his Facebook page


A teenager has taken his mother to court for logging on to his Facebook page and reading about his private life.

Denise New has been charged with harassment after her 16-year-old son, Lane, said he wanted criminal charges filed against his mother for her 'snooping'.

The teenager claims his mother changed his password on his Facebook account after he accidentally left his computer on.

He also said she posted slanderous comments and changed the password to his email so he can no longer receive updates to his page.

The teenager, who lives with his grandmother following his parents' messy divorce, made a complaint with prosecutors in Arkansas after the incident last month.

Prosecutors agreed with the teenager and charged Mrs New under the state's harassment laws.

The high tech family row began after Lane accidentally left his computer on while visiting his mother at her home in the town of Arkadelphia.

The 42-year-old became concerned about several entries, including one in which he son wrote about driving home at 95mph after an argument with his girlfriend.

She also read some other postings, which bothered her so much she decided to change the password barring her son's access to the account.

Mrs New said she was simply performing her parental duties, and looking at the Facebook page, was the same as going through his bedroom.


Right to privacy? Lane claims his mother had slandered him


She said: 'You're within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook whether it's his account, or your account or whoever's account.

'I read things on his Facebook about how he had gone to Hot Springs one night and was driving 95 m.p.h. home because he was upset with a girl and it was his friend that called me and told me about all this.

'That prompted me to even actually start really going through his Facebook to see what was going on.'

Her son disagreed with his mother's views and has asked not to have further contact with her.

In his criminal complaint, he wrote: 'Denise first hacked my Facebook and changed my password. She also changed the password to my e-mail so I could not change it. She posted things that involve slander and personal facts about my life.'

State prosecutor Todd Turner refused to comment on the case but cited Arkansas harassment laws that 'a person commits the offence if he engages in conduct or repeatedly commits acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person.'

Mrs New, who has visitation rights to her son while her parents have custodial rights, plans to contest the charge when she appears in court next month.

She said: 'I'm going to fight it. If I have to go even higher up, I'm going to. I'm not gonna let this rest. I think this could be a precedent-setting moment for parents.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1264604/Boy-16-sues-mother-harassing-Facebook--pleads-parental-duty.html#ixzz0kXc7mbTC

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