Jul 152013
 July 15, 2013  Posted by  Court, Online, U.S.

David Kravets has more on the lawsuit concerning sites that post mug shots and then charge a removal fee.  As I’ve blogged previously, this case raises some interesting issues:

The Ohio suit, (.pdf) which seeks untold damages, names JustMugshots.com, BustedMugshots.com, MugshotsOnline.com, findmugshots.com, Mugshots.com, and others. The latest accusations are already being met with stiff resistance on constitutional grounds.

“First of all, I think Scott has insurmountable problems with the First Amendment. The mugshots, as you may or may not know, are public record,” said Lance Winchester, a Texas attorney for BustedMugshots.com and MugshotsOnline.com, which charge under $100 to remove mugs from their sites.

One of the plaintiffs in the case is Phillip Kaplan, who was a freelance graphic artist charged in 2011 for failure to disperse from a party a few doors from his Toledo residence. His mug appeared on BustedMugshots and MugshotsOnline, the suit says. He refused to pay to take it down. He suspected the mugshots were hindering his employment opportunities.

Gene Policinski, a vice president of the First Amendment Center, suggests that the mugshot-removal industry is an incurable side effect of the First Amendment.

Read more on Threat Level.

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