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Internet Lawsuits Heat up: Son Files Charges against Mother

(April 11, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) A family battle is going to court—but this time the battle is not between mom and dad. Instead, a 16-year-old boy has alleged that his mother harassed him when she logged onto his Facebook page, read his posts and changed his password to lock him out of Facebook. The lawsuit is a striking example of how the Internet has changed families and communities, and how it continues to challenge the way parents raise their Internet-savvy children.

Denise New says she gained access to her son's Facebook page after he forgot to log off while using her computer. New says she became upset after learning her son had driven to Hot Springs and driven 95 mph on the way home because he was not happy with a girl.

According to CBS News on 4/08/10, the son filed a complaint with prosecutors alleging that his mother hacked his Facebook and changed both his Facebook and his e-mail passwords. He further alleged that she made posts to his Facebook page that were slanderous and invaded his privacy. He also requested a no contact order against his mother.

The teen lives with his grandmother, who reportedly has custodial rights.

Prosecutors approved harassment charges against the teen's mom, who says that if the suit against her is successful, parents will lose their ability to keep their children in line.

"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," New said in an 4/07/10 interview with KATV.

Not all details of the case have been released, as it involves a minor. However, prosecutors said the mother's actions fell under the legal definition of harassment.

"I think this could be a precedent-setting moment for parents," New said.

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