So long story short, my mother's 70 year old friend does crafts for a living. Had this guy doing updates for years and suddenly, he's in jail, no access possible and my mom asks me to see what I can do about getting things accessible for her friend.

I have my own reseller account and am familiar with other issues but I was wondering if anyone here had a similar type of problem and what procedure there is to take control of the domain from the current registrar.

Thankfully, her name and address as well as telephone number are in the registration info so she can prove she is the person the domain was registered for.

Any thoughts?

  • Have you called them and explained what your problem is? I would start there. Make sure all parties are on the line with you. Your Mom,and whoever may have been involved. Most registrars will help, however, you may have to ask for a supervisor at some point. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 12, 2016 at 2:29
  • Thanks, that was going to be the next step. I think the registrar is network solutions. Will check with them in the morning. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:31
  • Best of luck! Let us know how it goes. Meanwhile, there may be some answers that will help. See if you can find an online article to prove the arrest and/or conviction to help bolster your story. That may help more than anything!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 12, 2016 at 2:34
  • Already did. Lol Creepy looking guy... I started with an email to their support line with the whole story and link to the article and his website which both have his info. Will let you know. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:36
  • Cool! I am sure they will do the right thing... it may be a chore at first... I did have to go through a few of these kinds of things as a web host and I never had any trouble. It sometimes did take a bit of an effort. Back in the day when it was only NetSol, I fortunately had several "in's" into the company and could get anything fixed in seconds. Unfortunately, everyone I knew has left. We all got old. ;-)
    – closetnoc
    Aug 12, 2016 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


Generally the address that you see in the whois information is not used to prove rightful ownership, since the owner of the domain is not required to use their own address, but rather a real address that they can be contacted through, which at the time they would of been.

Many businesses owners for example use their accountants addresses, that doesn't make the accountants rightful owners. Most good registrars will not use the whois information and use a combination of factors to determine the rightful owner, these are:

  • User account created at the Registrar.
  • Billing Address and Details.
  • Email address attached to the domain when registering it.
  • I have found that if the story makes sense and you have enough details to answer some questions, then the registrar can potentially trust "you" as the owner. It may not always be that simple of course. I have seen a registrar make someone wait while they try and contact the person who registered the domain. It often depends upon the situation. It is likely with a linked article stating the persons conviction, the story has just become totally believable and a no-brainer.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 12, 2016 at 14:32
  • @closetnoc, any professional business won't listen to a bunch of old drama, they have policies in place, you either meet their critial or you don't... Most regulators such as ICANN set out these policies, and its down to the registrars to enforce those. I'd be extremely surprised and worried if a domain was transferred away based on the WHOIS address. Billing and the email used at the domain register must match. It's clearly stated when you register a domain. Matters such as these are disputed in a court of law. Aug 13, 2016 at 0:27
  • I recommend that you Google domain disputes where businesses have had a partner, or web site designer make their site and then die (even when using business address on the whois), and even then they can't get ownership of the domain... its stated in the terms and conditions, businesses need to plan for such events, its not the registrars issue, they make no money... dealing with such issues either may I add. As I said, court of law. Aug 13, 2016 at 0:37
  • Like I said, It may not always be that simple of course. [insert friendly grin] Another criteria is how the domain name was paid for. As well, any evidence on the website itself. Contact names are just contact names. I used to be a web host years ago and while I will not say it is always easy, I never had any trouble getting satisfaction for the rightful owner. BTW- In the U.S., domain name registrations are not settled in court. That would be far more expensive than the whole matter is worth.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 13, 2016 at 3:09

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