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I have received an email from Mr. A. In court Mr. A denies sending this email saying that I am making up with everything. How can I prove that this email was sent from Mr. A?

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You can print a copy of the email, ideally with metadata showing, and testify that you received it and did not modify the email.

The lawyer in the case against Mr. A can ask Mr. A if that is his email address, and can ask other people who have received email from him if that is his email address.

Mr. A's computer and/or email provider can be subpoenaed. The computer can be forensically examined for evidence that the email was sent or deleted, and the email provider can be asked to provide evidence that the email was sent.

Your email provider can be subpoenaed and asked to provide evidence that the email was received.

In general, people who deny sending emails in court who are confronted with copies of those emails authenticated by the testimony of the person who allegedly received the email lose their cases and are not believed by the judge or the jury. This doesn't always happen, but it is by far the more common outcome.

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  • Can phone service providers be subpoenaed to verify text messages too? What if these providers delete such content from their servers as soon as the destination party receives it? (In other words, such that's it is only stored on the recipient's device, who is also free to delete it anytime?) – ManRow Mar 25 at 7:07
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    @ManRow "Can phone service providers be subpoenaed to verify text messages too?" Yes. "What if these providers delete such content from their servers as soon as the destination party receives it?" Then the response to the subpoena will be that there are no such records in its possession. – ohwilleke Mar 26 at 20:14
  • I see, good point! But, does the last paragraph in your answer also apply to text messages too, and even if providers do not have records of such content in their possession? Since emails can be spoofed, and screenshots of text messages can be forged/edited, I'm wondering how this would not open up a can of worms in terms of cases with potentially spoofed emails and forged screenshots of text messages. (note: emails that are digitally signed cannot be easily spoofed, but by far not everyone digitally signs their email!) – ManRow Mar 27 at 8:46
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    @ManRow "Since emails can be spoofed, and screenshots of text messages can be forged/edited, I'm wondering how this would not open up a can of worms in terms of cases with potentially spoofed emails and forged screenshots of text messages" Anything can be forged. If you have information from the source, you can disprove the existence of a spoofed electronic communication. You can also get discovery (pre-trial exchanges of information) that include metadata and third-party inspection of hardware upon which data is stored. – ohwilleke Mar 27 at 16:20
  • Interesting! From further research, it seems many (but possibly not all) "major" email services have at least some countermeasures against such spoofing attempts. Furthermore, users can also inspect their email metadata to determine if there may or may not be some form of spoofing going on too. While I'm not certain how many email users are aware of those technical details, it does seem that, as long as relatively well-known or "major" email services are used, uncertainties of authenticity could (or would!) be quite rare indeed! – ManRow Mar 28 at 0:13

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