Skip to main content

Choosing forum for invasion of privacy lawsuit (federal diversity jurisdiction)

Eau Claire, WI |

I am planning on filing suit against owners/operators of the "mugshot industry" under the premise that they invaded my privacy (unwarranted intrusion), and I believe federal court may be the best option as this is going to involve three defendants from other states (perhaps all Florida). I figure I can reasonably request more than $75,000 and would probably ask for $250,000 from each defendant. I have a paralegal certificate, and am determined to do something about this as it has caused me immeasurable loss so far. I'm not going to pay their extortion. I tried to make a criminal case out of it- wrote the FBI and explained how the actions of these companies represents racketeering activity. I have also thought about civil RICO but the pleading requirements are too strict, any thoughts?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Posted

So you have a paralegal certificate and you think you have a valid claim for invasion of privacy against persons who published your mugshot. You obviously need more legal training. There is this pesky constitutional provision called the First Amendment. Mug Shots or persons who were arrested and/or convicted are public documents. If you were arrested and/or convicted, and if your mug shot is publicly available, this is a public record that records an actual and truthful fact--that you were either arrested or convicted. If someone published a list of persons who had been arrested for DUI, as long as the list is accurate, no one could possibly complain about the fact that his name appears on this list. The same is true for lists and photographs of registered sex offenders. The same is true for mug shots. Do they have the potential for harming your reputation. You bet!! Do you have a claim based on this harm---no way. Is it illegal for companies to accept fees in exchange for removing your photo from its published collection of mug-shots? Clearly not.

Here is your problem----a mug shot was taken of you. It is available from sources on line. You do not own the copyright in the mug-shot---the copyright is owned by whoever took the photograph and/or the governmental authority who paid him. Thus, you have no legal right to limit its use and distribution. It is a true picture that reflects an unfortunate but real event that occurred in your life. Guess what--you have no claim for invasion of privacy---you have no right to keep private your arrest and conviction history---including mug shots.

The only potential claim would be for violation of your right of publicity. But this will not fly because the mug shot companies are not suggesting that you endorse their products---they simply publish mug shots of persons who were arrestee and/or convicted.

Indeed, my view is that your claims would be frivolous. I suspect that very few lawyers would be willing to pursue such claims---I would be worried that I would face Rule 11 Sanctions if I would do so.

Also, even if you could somehow conjure up a valid claim, your assertion as to damages seems to be absurdly high. You cannot just make up a number---you have to have evidence of actual economic harm. It is far from clear that you could prove actual economic harm from publication of this mug-shot. You say it has caused "immeasurable loss" but in court, you have to provide evidence that can be verified and quantified---not mere speculation.

And you also have to show that the proximate cause of your loss is publication of the mug shot---and it is probably impossible for you to satisfy this requirement. The proximate cause of your loss was your arrest or conviction---not the mug short which merely records something that happened to you. People get charged with crimes--often incorrectly. And the taint of being charged with a crime often has adverse consequences, even if the charges or dropped or you are acquitted at trial. Life is unfair, but that does not always give rise to legal claims.

Asker

Posted

>>Is it illegal for companies to accept fees in exchange for removing your photo from its published collection of mug-shots? Clearly not.<< Clearly this issue is not at all clear. How can you say "clearly" it is not illegal and just leave it at that (1st paragraph)? Clearly many are seeking sound advice, not blank statements. Clearly, many people do not see anything clear about it, rather they see extortion, clearly. Clearly not all attorney's would agree with you: http://www.floridapatentlawyerblog.com/2011/11/mugshot-sites-may-violate-flor.html

Asker

Posted

Let's see, the information the sites publish is a duplication of actual public records, you don't own the copyright, the sites don't suggest the people listed endorse their products, you are not forced to pay, no threats are made. You sir has no cause of action.

Asker

Posted

How about a lawsuit for misuse or abuse of public records? Wouldn’t the reported behavior noted below be worthy of a legal complaint against these mugshot websites? Mugshots.com is an anonymous hacker site, as well as the other mugshot websites. They hack sheriff’s websites with an initial, deliberate scraping for content in mass quantity in one fell swoop, later mini swoops. Viewable public info, specifically arrestee info, currently displayed on sheriff’s websites, was not and is not intended for anyone’s financial gain. Public records and FOI (Freedom of Information) were not designed for the purpose of anonymous mugshot websites specific financial benefit, misuse or abuse. And yet this is exactly what is happening. Mugshots.com is just one mugshot website operating in this manner anonymously. They all operate anonymously. If they’re leaving the information up indefinitely until money finds its way to paying them off to take it down, then they are operating anonymously. No? Ok, who owns or operates mugshots.com and where do they live? I’m asking, where does mugshots.com live? The problem with mugshots.com and the other mugshot websites isn't so much the mugshot itself appearing on their tedious, anonymous, pay-up or it stays-up websites, but all the personal info listed with the mugshot. Such as full date-of-birth, full address, place-of-birth, etc. Mugshots.com even deliberately uses Google's street view widget, showing the arrestee’s actual residence and neighboorhood How awful for not only the arrestee, but anyone who may own, want to own, or sell the property in the future Googling an address alone, just street number and street name, will instantly, bring up mugshot website’s scraped arrest info to the search engine. Any random address search will effectively notify and inform any unsolicited or unsuspecting residential inquiry that a person residing at that address was arrested: Here’s their picture along with too much extraneous info to boot. Picture of the house, condo, apartment - you got it. Mugshots.com and others are expecting you to find this info (they know you will) so you can pay them to take it down, which they offer to do, anonymously. If there were no financial gain in it, they wouldn’t do what they do. They wouldn’t put out the effort. Remember, they go so far as to pay SEO’s (search engine optimizing) for their effective services, after all. Currently there are at least half a dozen mugshot websites operating similarly to mugshots.com, in that they pay for SEO's to optimize search results and get your name and picture onto Google's top results (first page, first hit). They all charge hundreds of dollars, anonymously, for the removal of the information about you. So what do you do? Go about paying out many thousands of dollars to ALL the mugshot websites as often as they creep up? It has already been noted how some have paid mugshots.com only to see their info subsequently pop up onto other mugshot websites. Searching your name then reveals numerous hits with the very same detailed info you just paid to remove Btw, most website owners and bloggers never own just one domain. Typically they own multiple domains. Mugshots.com claims they operate independent of any other mugshot websites, or “removal” site. Again, they operate anonymously. Consider the source. It has also already been noted that once you’ve emailed mugshots.com, understandably giving them a piece of your mind by expressing your outrage then daring to refuse to send the anonymous hackers a dime, your mugshot will then appear not just on the one mugshot website but multiple mugshot websites - immediately. It’s enough to drive a person straight over the edge. Unfortunately, from personal knowledge, I can testify it already has... Think long and hard before you send a single cent to any mugshot website out there, especially remember they are anonymous, their vendor lists are mostly scammers and fraudsters. They can mess with you any way they want. And they will. They have

Asker

Posted

Cont'd... They have your info, about them you have - ZILCH. The “removal” sites often operate fictitiously and down-right deceptively. Do a thorough search on all those so-called “mugshot removal sites.” The plot only thickens when the full scope of this maddening mugshot racket inevitably comes to light. Surely these anonymous mugshot websites need to be outlawed.

Asker

Posted

Responding to any lawyer suggesting "But It's legal to extort your public mugshot for $400 bucks"... WELL SO WAS SLAVERY LEGAL ONCE TOO. Do what's right on this one... for once. PLEEEEEEASE!

Asker

Posted

Maurice N Ross... If a SLAVE had no legal training in 1836... should they not fight the wrong's of SLAVERY. Your logic is abominable. Please rethink your comments and perspective. Barton James Christner, www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Maurine N. Ross... would you hire a teacher with a mugshot, from a false accusation of Domestic Battery, mugshot plastered page one of 700,000 hits... $75,000 year I've lost in income, my loans still due for my MFA (five years) and likely I will never teach again. My "ex-girlfriend" simply dialed 911 as a threat if I left her garage.. lied, it was proven to be a lie.. but I spent a night in jail, humiliated drug testing due Flroida's Zero tolerance laws.. she calls.. i spand a night in jail. she was drunk, and they told her if she changed her story.. she'd face perjury.. I PROVED she lied, was "NO INFO" released and cleared... but nothing is done to her.. and my mugshot prevails... I AM INNOCENT... but will likely NEVER TEACH AGAIN.. As a professor.. let's see... 25 more good years at $75,000 to $100,000.. and still owe $50,000 on my advanced degree... HARMLESS MUGSHOTS? My kids without CHILD SUPPORT... and now I get letters they'll take my license if I don't get a job.. MAurice... CAN'T GET A JOB if "BARTON JAMES CHRISTNER" has mugshots on page one.

Asker

Posted

Ever thought of stop hitting women? gosh!

Asker

Posted

Insulting comment posted "9 minutes ago". So, attack my character rather than the issue? You would tell the "1836 slave" they are scum if they argue against a legal injustice, eh?! http://bartonjames.com/pam_AREA.htm VAWA protect identities.. 75% of cases in some inner Florida jurisdictions are FALSE DOMESTIC BATTERY CLAIMS..

Asker

Posted

But that's not my issue here... the issue is that the FLASE claim is permanently embedded in MUGSHOT Internet land even though I was proven innocent... and she was reprimanded for lying... I was a teacher... you don't think every one of the students and administrators don't go now making your same snide remarks? It's an injustice... to "stop hitting women?" You have me judged guilty, no? See how hard this is on people falsely accused, and the Internet perpetuates it? I hope you do... you are the reason I'm up here praying for an Eagle to carry this fight to the Supreme Court. You really are.

Asker

Posted

No sense of humor.. I get it. Those sites all have disclaimers, and as a "professor" you should understand by now the definition of a mugshot. I'm sure I don't need to spell it out to you now, do I?

Asker

Posted

Sorry, not humorous. I lost my humor when I lost my job. My reputation. My respect. When I lose every academic interview. and when my kids are hungry. Two little boys 10 and 11. Hard to explain all this to them. Here: http://www.petition2congress.com/1627/stop-false-allegations-domestic-violence/view/8

Asker

Posted

You could have lost the job for a million reasons. If it's related to these arrests of yours than its about the arrests, not some publicly available record somewhere that would have popped up on any background check run by your employer anyways. Take responsibility and man up. Your kids don't need a daddy who cries a river.

Asker

Posted

Interesting, I continually have to defend myself. Thanks for making this a personal attack and avoiding the sleazy mugshot industry: http://bartonjames.com/progress_AREA.htm

Maurice N Ross

Maurice N Ross

Posted

Respectfully, it is not the mug shot or the internet that is causing your problem. It is the person who made a wrongful accusation against you, the law enforcement officer who arrested you for a crime which you did not commit, and perhaps the prosecutor who pursued the case without adequate evidence who have cause you harm. Whether the mugshot site exits or not, your arrest is a matter of public record. Any employer who performed a background check on you would learn about the arrest and the charges against you. And no responsible university would rely on a mug shot in google search as an accurate background check. You are vastly exaggerating the harm that the mug shot site has done ot you. As I have said previously, states or the federal government could decide to legislate in this area (but such legislation would face a significant first amendment challenge). There is a new site on the internet that purports to post photographs of "potential prostitutes". It urges people to send in photographs of persons believed to be prostitutes, it posts these photographs on line, together with the photographs and addresses of the alleged prostitutes and their families, and it offers the alleged prostitutes the right to remove their pictures for a fee. This web-site is clearly operating illegally---to the extent it posts photographs of persons alleged to be prostitutes without having any evidence to support the allegation, it is engaging in libel, violations of privacy, and extortion. But there is a big difference between the mug shot sites and the prostitution sites---the mug shots are real photographs take of people who were actually arrested---they are public records. The photographs of the persons posted as alleged prostitutes, in contrasts, are not public records and there is no evidence that these people were ever arrested for, or convicted of, prostitution. Bottom line---arrest records and mug shots are public records. Supporting free speech is not analogous to supporting slavery--it is a ridiculous analogy.

Asker

Posted

Maurice... sincerely appreciate the response, accurate and well articulated! Unfortunately VAWA seals the files and affords protection even to false accusers. Would benefit as well from your thoughts on the 29 states having "right of publicity" (link below)? http://www.normanhaga.nl/blog/mugshots-lawsuit-of-lashaway/

Asker

Posted

Maurice... sincerely appreciate the response, accurate and well articulated! Unfortunately VAWA seals the files and affords protection even to false accusers. Would benefit as well from your thoughts on the 29 states having "right of publicity" (link below)? http://www.normanhaga.nl/blog/mugshots-lawsuit-of-lashaway/ Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Read the first response about right of publicity, it 's not going to work, it's a shot in the dark by a part-time attorney. In contract, Busted Mugshots operator (Kyle prall) is the son of a judge. Who do you think going to prevail here? and Sealing/Expungement has no bearing on private publishers., ever. publishers always have the right to publish facts, that's protected the first amendment.

Asker

Posted

Do I have the right to photograph (and I don't mean this disrespectfully) you or another scratching your crotch in a public Bathrooom, offering a $400 removal service... the publication of the mugshot is NOT the issue.. it's the "intent to provide removal service for $400) that is the issue. Agreed per Kyle Prall and a judge's son. BUT again. WHAT DOES YOUR GUT TELL YOU ON THIS? -Barton James Christner

Asker

Posted

note... if there was no removal service offered.. I suspect I wouldn't have an issue.. you don't here me complaining about the Sherrif's having this in their public database... I'm complaining that if I send them $400 to remove a picture of me they scraped from a Sherrif's site, I encourage them to open up countless sites sites asking for that same $400 on that same picture countless times... All these "issues" are Red Herring's MASKING THAT THE "REMOVAL SERVICE" is fraudulent, extortionist, mal-intended and a get rich scheme through potential loopholes in existing laws... WHAT I AM SAYING.. is ... is there a LAWYER OUT THERE WITH THE GUTS TO TURN AWAY THE POTENTIAL INCOME THEY THEMSELVES CAN GENERATE FROM mugshot.s eneavors by "RESTORING REPUTATIONS" WHOSE WILLING TO COMBAT THIS ON PRINCIPAL? AGAIN. THERE WAS A TIME IN THE US SLAVERY WAS MORALLY ACCEPTABLE WITH NO LAWS AGAINST IT, and a judge's sure was sure to provide related "services" ... My comparison is not SLAVE=MUGSHOT.. but that sure... this is a slim chance... difficult issue to address... SO WHAT? It needs addressed and I'm a project manager, creative director, teacher... Come to me for that... BUT... back to my original question here on AVVO.. "Is there a LAWYER willing to file a class action lawsuit against these sites and Google?" If so.. I'll market the HELL OUT OF IT.. AND WE WILL WIN. My livelihood and my kids depends on it.

Asker

Posted

Not about my gut, just about legalities. If the picture was taken in a public space then you can publish it and if someone wants to pay you to take it down then they can. We're not talking about threats, extortion, blackmail, or anything illegal. We're talking about the fact that a person, the subject in the photograph, wishes to take something down that was first legitimately published. After a legitimate publication it can't somehow become "illegitimate", just as much as "public record" can't somehow become "private record".

Asker

Posted

One question re their "Removal Service" ... WHAT VALUE DOES THIS OFFER ANYONE OR SOCIETY... YOU.. ME.. WOULD YOU LOOK AT THEIR SITE TO FIND OUT WHOSE A CHILD MOLESTER? NO. They can pay to have it removed. WHO BENEFITS from mugshot.com? Follow the money. THEY DO. Lawyers DO. Sherrif's office they "tip" for easier access to the data file benefits. - Barton James Christner Exceeds authorized access, and obtains information from a protected computer (18 USC § 1030). Transfers (screen scraping), possesses and uses (website), a means of identification (mugshots), (18 USC § 1028A). Converts public records to his use (18 USC § 641). National Information Infrastructure Protection Act : Transmits advantages to foreign nations. Criminally infringes name and likeness copyrights for the purpose of commercial advantage (website) and private financial gain (18 USC § 2319 and 17 USC § 506). Governmental Prima Facie Evidence of name and likeness copyright: State Certified Birth Certificate, State Driver’s License, US Passport and other government documents and records “created” to identify and validate name and likeness. Holds to involuntary servitude by electronic means (18 USC § 1584). Stalks, harasses, intimidates and causes substantial emotional distress (18 USC § 2261A). Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act :  Intentionally obtains and  transmits  to another person information with the intent to defraud (unpublish/repair reputation). Transmits communication interstate with the intent to “injure reputation” to extort (unpublish/repair reputation), (18 USC § 875). As consideration for not informing demands money (unpublish/repair reputation), (18 USC § 873). Interstate collection of an unlawful debt (unpublish/repair reputation), (18 USC § 1962). A person(s) who receives, possesses, conceals, or disposes of any blackmail (unpublish/repair reputation) money (18 USC § 880). Search engines, hosting , reputation repair and consumer complaint companies aids and abets (18 USC § 2), conceals felony (18 USC § 4).

Asker

Posted

You're spamming a really nice discussion, that's not nice. The only one so far that is breaking the law is you, and it's called defamation, making untrue statements. I hope some of those sites operators pay attention and file against you, would be fun to watch.

Asker

Posted

Al Capone operated legally? No? I think it was "Tax Evasion" that caught up with him... If I needed graphics... I'd do it myself... I need MUGSHOTS.COM to be prevented from offering a "REMOVAL SERVICE". My theory? They wouldn't be SO NOBLE informing "SOCIETY" and continue business without the REMOVAL SERVICE. So I reword my question based on Maurice's comments, among others here.. "IS there a LAWYER in Florida willing to stop MUGSHOT.COM and others from offering a REMOVAL SERVICE?" REMOVING MY mugshot unfairly skews the dataset, and HIDES criminal arrest activity. Rich people can pay. POOR people can't. "The REMOVAL SERVICE" is illegitimate immoral commerce not unlike "selling slaves for profit" SURE it's legal, by a judge's son... BUT NEW LAWS NEED TO BE MADE ASAP on this. LIVES, CAREERS, CHILDREN"S parents, and ECONOMICS in a region are being bled by money siphoned into supporting their continued survival, with each "payment" they receive... money families could use elsewhere.. do I really have a choice NOT TO PAY them to "remove it?" If I ever want to work again.. NOTE: THE SHERRIF's site that posted my mugshot DOES NOT EVER SHOW UP IN GOOGLE... mugshot's is a legal SCAM. Is there a lawyer willing to STOP this from being legal without infringing on MEDIA rights, and the public's "right" to post a mugshot in the media? GO AFTER THE "REMOVAL SERVICE" (Except that the very people that can stop it, are the one's who want to charge me the $400 to take it down for me.. I feel for all the poeple arrested out there in lower economic brackets who couldn't EVER afford $400 a pop to "remove their mug" especially innocent ones unfairly or inadvertently arrested... THIS IS CRIMINAL... just not yet.. until someone passes a law and MAKES IT CRIMINAL to offer a "REMOVAL SERVICE"... heck my own Daytona lawyer and "good" friend of six years... David Shehkter.. even told me for $600 he would "save my reputation" by getting these removed from mugshot.com and sister sites for me..! They shouldn't be AVAILABLE FOR REMOVAL at any price in the first place... ) Sheeeez. -Barton James Christner

Asker

Posted

"I wonder what Kyle Prall tells his family and friends what he does for a living. Does he tell them that he deliberately tries to hurt others so that he hopes to profit from the pain he induces?" Excerpted from: http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/category/kyle-prall "The 'Mugshot Racket': Paying to Keep Public Records LESS Public" Excerpted from: http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2011/mugshot-racket-paying-keep-public-records-less-public -Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Hmm... Barton... ignore the personal attacks against you on here... you make some good points..we'll look into this... "The [mugshots.com/sister sites are] missing the faces of all those who have the financial means and desire to pay for their mugshot’s removal. " http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2011/mugshot-racket-paying-keep-public-records-less-public

Asker

Posted

Maurice N. Ross... just a thought here: "It’s as if the only newspaper in town left a name out of its weekly police blotter because it was paid by that person to do so. It’s the publisher’s prerogative to play favoritism, but the public deserves a better way to obtain information. "

Asker

Posted

In my opinion your behavior here is a good indication why you lost your job.

Maurice N Ross

Maurice N Ross

Posted

In response to your inquiry, I do not believe the right of publicity in New York and other states would prevent the mugshot web-sites from continuing to charge for taking down mug-shots. I believe the pending class action law suit based on the right of publicity is legally unsound and will be dismissed. The right of publicity in most states prevents use of someone's image to endorse or market a product without permission from the individual who's image is being used. It is intended to protect celebrities and others from companies which would wrongfully use their images or names to sell their products (celebrity endorsements). However, there a substantial first amendment limitations on the right of publicity. A newspaper or web-site can publish photographs of a celebrity in connection with an event that is either newsworthy or otherwise of possible interest to members of the public. For example, "fan" web-sites devoted to sharing news and information about celebrities can freely post photographs and images of the celebrities without violating their rights of publicity---this is true even if the newspapers, blogs and fan web-sites profit by using the images. An arrest is per se newsworthy. And a public record is per se of potential interest to the public. Publication of a list of persons arrested for sex crimes is clearly legal, as would publication of their mug shots. There are many web-sites that, for better or worth, publish names and photographs of sex offenders located in various areas, including both persons merely arrested for sex offenses and those actually convicted. While I abhor those that operate these web-sites about sex-offenders, which do more harm than good, they have an absolute first amendment right to publish those names and photographs. The same is true for mug shots. These are usually public records that accurately reflect actual arrests. They are per se newsworthy. It is also newsworthy when an arrest was wrongful, and the arrested person is exonerated, but the First Amendment does not require a free press to report both exonerations and arrests. These mugshot web-sites are clearly operating within the law when the publish the mug-shots. Further, they have no legal obligation to publish whether the arrests resulted in convictions. If a web-site offered to publish an article about someone who was cleared of charges after having been arrested, this would be perfectly legal. Pay for play journalism may be distasteful but it is legal. Similarly, there is simply nothing illegal when a mug-shot web-site offers to take down a mug shot from its web-site in exchange for money. Any attempt to restrict such practices would have a chilling impact on basic concepts of a free and open media. I have never been arrested (knock on wood), but if my mug shot appeared on one of these sites, and if I was later declared innocent by prosecutors and exonerated of the charges, I wouldn't both to pay ransom to the mug-site web-sites. Instead, I would publish articles, blogs, tweets, facebook postings everywhere I can, and as often as necessary, to get the word out that I was cleared of the charges. And if necessary I would establish my own business web-site, and include on the web-site evidence that I was exonerated. And I would work with an SEO firm to make sure my web-site is noticed quickly on Google when searches are done using my name. SEO maximization is not very expensive----I have been amazed at how cheap it can be to rise up to the top of search results on google. The best solution is always free speech, rather than legislation our law suits. The victims of these mug-shot guys have an easy remedy---speak up, use the internet to let the world know the truth. Once you use the tools at your disposal to get the word out, the mug shots on these sights will have no value. Indeed, I would take it one step further, The best way to defeat these mug-shot web-sites is to make it unprofitable to do business by letting members of the public know that there is no need to pay ransom to

Maurice N Ross

Maurice N Ross

Posted

Sorry about some typos: Third paragraph---"worth" is "worse" Fifth paragraph: "If web-site offered to publish an article FOR A FEE about a person who was cleared of charges-----" Sixth paragraph "both" should be bother ("I wouldn't bother to pay ransom) Sorry about typos. My hands and eyes deceive me at times.

Asker

Posted

Well put and thanks for participating Mr. Ross.

Asker

Posted

Yes. Maurice and Barton. Tx. Maurice: "[the 'right of publicity' intends protection from] companies which would wrongfully use their images or names to sell their [services] products"... mugshot.com is not a public service, if half the mugs (dataset) is missing, no? I suspect without a removal service fee.. they would not be so noble, no? Does this not in fact = improper use for a fee?

Asker

Posted

It seems while mugs.com SAYS they are "like the media or Sherrifs office" posting public images... they actually are NOT. They charge to REMOVE... a service based ENTIRELY on the PUBLICITY from that mug... in possibly direct violation of "right to publicity". Ironically, the Celeb can readily afford to pay to have it removed... but what about the fry cook? Good debate. Thanks all.

Asker

Posted

Where does it stop without new legislation... http://gizmodo.com/5971914/site-accuses-women-of-prostitution-demands-money-to-take-their-private-information-down

Asker

Posted

Barton, you "thank" yourself but it's clear who you are and what you do. Pathetic.

Asker

Posted

LOL. Okay, and "thank you!" anonymous "moderator". Perhaps my significant other's at my side and less interested than I am in "outing herself", and suppose we're both contributing from the same viewpoint and IP address? Did I blabber on here at AVVO? Guilty.. Have I blown this forum out? Guilty.... am I passionate? Guilty.. I am. Lot's at stake in my life - sucks having to pay Kyle Prall for my mistakes (staying too long with a known, unstable vindictive woman whom maliciously lied) for that.. I am guilty. Am I a bullshitter? NOT GUILTY. I stayed low for a year, and after a recent Wired article about "right of publicity" became hopeful. Extremely appreciative of Maurice? YES! Not only did he clarify, outline, and spend considerable time EXPLAINING issues, he did so while fiercely opposing my opinion - BUT Maurice has been invaluable in my understanding of the possibilities... his responses appear true, genuine and with tremendous respect. Maurice... yes. Thank you. Am I exasperated by "Kyle Prall" and his chronies? Guilty. And it shows. I'm not alone on this. Anyone with humiliating photos.. feels the same. We'd all rather tuck tail, pay these bastards and "man up" in silence. That's easy. BUT that just empowers them. Maurice is right. I gotta be vocal. Or "they" have my money and the mug.com financials will further blossom. I'm trying here to solve an overbearing legal conundrum affecting mine, and my children's life in part through blabbering on considering all the angles here... this wonderful forum... Maurice.. and AVVO. Truth? You don;t gotta be here reading this? I sincerely hope, you got better things to do with your time than follow a thread calling me "pathetic". Feel free to make personal stabs in private, if you must. I made no bones about who and what I am, what I stand for.. and as far as I can tell.. made no personal attacks here... anything taken as such. to all. my humble apologies! Happy New 2013...and if that Mayan calender didn't do us in.. maybe our own humanity finally will. Cheers. ;-) -Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Maurice N Ross... Please: your thoughts on this Colorade statute? (found it thanks to http://normanhaga.brandyourself.com/) Colorado Revised Statutes 24-72-305.5: "Records of official actions and criminal justice records and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other information in such records shall not be used by any person for the purpose of soliciting business for pecuniary gain." Thanks. - Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Interesting law and I would advocate for it as well. It's a very fair solution if adopted in more states. Just one note, a quick check with the two leading sites in the space, both don't solicit removal business. Mugshots.com is very specific on this subject. NON-SOLICITATION POLICY: Authorized Vendors are authorized to submit unpublishing applications and perform their services based on inbound requests received from the public or law enforcement officials only. Authorized vendors do not initiate contact with individuals appearing in “The Mugshots.com Database” and abide by a non-solicitation policy established by Licensor. Authorized vendors will only respond to inquiries where the Licensor, a publisher of “The Mugshots.com Database”, or a disseminator of “The Mugshots.com Database” content, communicates with the vendor on the basis of a request that has originated from an individual requesting unpublishing services. - Mugshots.com ..We only offer this option after repeated requests. - BustedMugshots.com

Maurice N Ross

Maurice N Ross

Posted

I do not think the Colorado statute fixes the issue, and if it would prevent publication of mug shots it would be unconstitutional. The best approach is to fight back by publishing on the internet why the arrest was BS

Posted

You have a long and difficult challenge ahead of you. Federal court is no place for pro per litigation and RICO is difficult even for highly experienced legal specialists. If your potential claim is sound, you should be able to find skilled counsel who will accept the case on contingency and that is your best course. If you cannot find a skilled and experienced attorney (federal litigator) who will take the case on contingency, you should consider that a consensus that you are unlikely to prevail.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Asker

Posted

Responding to any lawyer suggesting "But It's legal to extort your public mugshot for $400 bucks"... WELL SO WAS SLAVERY LEGAL ONCE TOO. Do what's right on this one... for once. PLEEEEEEASE! Abolishing slavery was long a difficult... Lawyers.. Please... DO WHAT'S RIGHT

Asker

Posted

http://www.normanhaga.nl/blog/mugshots-lawsuit-of-lashaway/ Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

Asker

Posted

Thought: It seems while mugs.com SAYS they are "like the media or Sherrif's office" posting public images... they actually are NOT. They claim otherwise, but it's obvious to most, they EXIST to charge to REMOVE... a service based ENTIRELY on the PUBLICITY from that mug" likely in direct violation of "right to publicity? Sounds like if this doesn't work new legislation should be on the table... that prevents any "fee" for use of "public image humiliation-reduction". *whether it's mugs or the "whose a potential prostitute site" that's operating legally at the moment... people uploading a public picture of your daughters, in a public place, to this website, and charging your daughters $99 to take it down. We're gonna see more of these in the near future folks...

Posted

The following link to an article which appeared not too long ago in Wired Magazine, regarding the online-mugshot industry, may be of some value to you.

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

Even if they get to a jury, the percentage of RICO claims that succeed is extremely small.

Asker

Posted

http://www.normanhaga.nl/blog/mugshots-lawsuit-of-lashaway/ Barton James Christner www.bartonjames.com

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

Agree that it's a novel, narrow, untested theory that the right of publicity is violated by the charging of a removal fee. It will be interesting to see how the case law develops. I am skeptical that such suit will succeed because the likeness is not exactly being used to "promote" a product or service. Rather, the photos are being used precisely because they depict the humiliating circumstance of arrest. It's not really like other "right of publicity" claims. It's sui generis.

Asker

Posted

Re your comment: "not exactly being used to "promote" a product or service." Hmmm.. right up front, large print, bold wording is "RECORD REMOVAL" service.. for $400 (exclusive "service" only to their "appointed" "partner" "lawyers")? I cannot remove it myself...

Asker

Posted

I'm not complaining about the Sherrif's website anywhere (no "service" to remove that one.. right?... I'm complaining about mugshot.com. If the mugshot wasn't there.. wouldn't need the service... hmmm -Barton James Christner

Asker

Posted

Conversely.. if I couldn't pay to get it removed (eg it was permanently up there at their site).. I wouldn't be complaining either... - Barton James Christner

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

It is an interesting legal issue, certainly debatable.

Asker

Posted

Thought: It seems while mugs.com SAYS they are "like the media or Sherrif's office" posting public images... they actually are NOT. They claim otherwise, but it's obvious to most, they EXIST to charge to REMOVE... a service based ENTIRELY on the PUBLICITY from that mug" likely in direct violation of "right to publicity? Sounds like if this doesn't work new legislation should be on the table... that prevents any "fee" for use of "public image humiliation-reduction". *whether it's mugs or the "whose a potential prostitute site" that's operating legally at the moment... people uploading a public picture of your daughters, in a public place, to this website, and charging your daughters $99 to take it down. We're gonna see more of these in the near future folks...

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Recommended articles about Lawsuits and disputes

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer