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Is there any way to stop a mugshot removal service/website from reinserting information after removal was paid for?

Addison, IL |

I paid for the removal of a relative's information from one of those mugshot websites. It was removed, then shortly inserted on another website which I know is run by the same people (both websites and the "removal service" are all connected). They now want twice as much money to remove the same information. Do I have any legal recourse to stop this continued "legal extortion"?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

That's outrageous! I think you have a breach of contract claim and likely a fraud claim. There are lawyers fighting these mugshots websites and they would love to have your fax situation to put before a court to prove the malicious intent of these websites. Get an attorney and go for it! That's outrageous! Of course we need to realize that many of these mugshots websites are based in remote jurisdictions so that they can avoid legal liability, so you may have no one at all to sue for this that you can collect from. Be sure you have a chance of recovery that exceeds the cost of the suit before you file a lawsuit and go to a lot of expense.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your reply, and for sharing my outrage. Right now I'm not interested in seeking damages--I'm just trying to protect my nephew's (a recent college grad) future job prospects. Basically I just want it to go away, as it should have when I paid the removal fee. After doing much research, I've decided not to 'poke the hornet's nest' right now, and risk retaliation by having his information spread even further. The second website his information is listed on ranks very low in Google's results, so it is a minor problem. If it goes beyond that, I plan on contacting the FTC (per Mr. Jaffe's recommendation), as well as IC3 and any other agency which may be of assistance. In the meantime I'll be writing to every legislator I can in hopes of getting these sleazy sites shut down. I do believe in the First Amendment as well as a free market, but not when it involves fraud and malicious behavior such as this. (Sorry for the rant!)

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

We are used to anti-mugshot rants but they do no good given to us. Save them for a judge.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

You likely have no standing to sue on behalf of your nephew.

Posted

I, too, am outraged at this process and agree with Bruce.

I suggest you write the second website and tell them you are going to complain to the FTC if they do not take it down. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

Asker

Posted

Thank you, Mr. Jaffe. I'm keeping the FTC website in my back pocket for possible future use (see my reply to Mr. Burdick). I'm also planning on filing an Internet fraud complaint with IC3 if it comes to that. Thanks again!

Posted

In addition to the answers of my colleagues, I strongly suggest having the original contract for the service for which you paid reviewed by counsel.

I am an attorney in Pennsylvania but I am not currently *your* attorney. Nothing in my communication should be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship. Please contact me if you wish to retain me as your counsel.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

It's almost certainly just a click through agreement with a credit card charge and thus probably still online.

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