Cyber Harassment & “Revenge Porn” Litigation

Sadly, cyber harassment and “revenge porn” are common place in today’s technological environment.  Most North Carolina residents are unaware that distributing or posting compromising pictures or videos of your former spouse or lover online now results in hefty civil and criminal penalties.  The professional and discrete attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland are one of the few Charlotte law firms with experience prosecuting civil cases under this cutting-edge new law.

This new North Carolina law gives hope to victims of former scorned lovers or ex-spouses seeking revenge by posting or distributing compromising pictures or videos online or through text messaging.  Not only are the perpetrators subject to felony charges, they face civil penalties of $1,000.00 per day for each violation of the law, or $10,000.00 per violation, whichever is greater.  Importantly, the law imposes a judgment from the court to force the wrongdoer to remove all offending pictures or videos from the internet and his or her personal computing devices and cellular phones.

“Revenge Porn” and Cyber Harassment Attorneys in Charlotte, NC

If you have been the victim of cyber harassment or “revenge porn,” contact the experienced attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland at (704) 844-1400. We always offer a free initial confidential consultation with a Charlotte civil litigation attorney to discuss your rights concerning “revenge porn” and cyber harassment.

Our clients often ask the following questions:

Who does North Carolina’s “revenge porn” statute protect?

North Carolina’s revenge porn statute is sweeping in scope.  First, the law protects anyone who was or is in a relationship with the wrongdoer, including current or former spouses, people who lived together, people who have a child together, and even people who were ever in a dating relationship.

What does North Carolina’s “revenge porn” statute prevent someone from doing?

North Carolina’s revenge porn law requires a victim to prove that the wrongdoer disclosed an image of the victim’s private parts—including genitals or breasts—to a third party without the victim’s consent.  The disclosure of these images or videos must be in an effort to coerce, harass, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the victim, or cause others to do the same.

What criminal penalties will the perpetrator face?

The criminal penalty for violating North Carolina’s “revenge porn” statute is a Class H Felony, which may result in 6 years of jail time and fines of up to $10,000.00.  As a part of the criminal penalty, the judge may also order that the guilty party delete or destroy all copies of the distributed images.

What are my civil remedies and what civil penalties will the wrongdoer face?

North Carolina has a civil penalty for violation of its “revenge porn” statute as well.  A victim of a scorned lover’s revenge may file a lawsuit and seek damages for any actual losses he or she suffered through job loss, emotional distress, or other actual losses.  The statute also requires the court to award damages in the following minimum amounts:  $1,000.00 per day for each violation of the statute, or $10,000.00 per violation, whichever is greater.

In addition to actual losses and the $10,000.00 per violation minimum award, North Carolina allows an award of punitive damages—meaning, additional monetary damages meant to punish the wrongdoer.  Finally, the state allows victims to recover all money spent on attorney fees and costs in bringing the civil action.

When do I have to bring my lawsuit against someone who violated this statute?

A lawsuit under North Carolina’s revenge porn statute must be brought within 1 year of the victim’s first discovery of the unauthorized image or video.  However, the state placed a cap on the latest an action may be brought:  in no event may a lawsuit be filed more than 7 years after the most recent disclosure of the naked picture or video.