Can an Essay Writing Service Threaten to Tell My School if I Don't Pay?
It is always possible for someone to sue, but it is unlikely they would succeed if they voluntarily issued a refund based on a failure to deliver on time. Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless money is paid to purchase silence. It is a form of extortion. Because the information is usually substantially true, it is not revealing the information that is criminal, but demanding money to withhold it. Blackmail has been defined in the broad sense to mean "compelling someone to act against their will or gaining or attempting to gain something of value." Courts vary on interpreting what "something of value" includes, but it is not necessarily a money payment in all cases. A criminal complaint is typically filed with the local police department or prosecutor's office.
A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces another person to deliver such property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will:
(i) Cause physical injury to some person in the future; or
(ii) Cause damage to property; or
(iii) Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or
(iv) Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or
(v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or
(vi) Cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business; except that such a threat shall not be deemed extortion when the property is demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or
(vii) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or
(viii) Use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely; or
(ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.
It is a matter of administrative decision-making by the school how to punish plagiarism. A person may be found guilty of plagiarism if one did not intend to or knowingly attempt to steal another’s ideas or pass another's work off as one's own. In the school setting, it is generally a matter of internal administrative decision-making. While the school may have applicable guidelines to follow in disciplinary matters, it often is a matter of subjective determination. It is more of an administrative than a legal matter.
Typically, the courts will review such cases only insofar as ensuring that due process rights were afforded to the student in the disciplinary procedures. This will involve such considerations as whether the student was served with a written notice of charges; she was made aware of grounds which would justify her expulsion or suspension by way of the student handbook; the hearing tribunal afforded her an opportunity to hear and confront the evidence presented against her and an opportunity to be heard and to offer other evidence if she chose; she was accorded the right to have someone from the college community to assist her in the proceedings; she was informed of the tribunal's finding; she was given access to its decision for her personal review; and, she was advised in writing of the discipline imposed.
For examples of standards applied to plagiarism charges, please see: