Skip to main content

Can the jail report use an obituary photo when running a story.

Augusta, GA |

My son was shot and killed immediately in a home invasion therefore was not arrested. My son had no prior criminal record, meaning no prior photo on public record. After the obituary was ran, the Jail Report used that photo. I read their guidelines and it specifically stated they legally can run an arrest record/mugshot because it is public record; but my son never had the chance to be arrested. I was given the copyright to his Senior High School photos, which is what I ran in the local newspaper. I am not denying the incident but I would not have ran the obituary photo if I would have known they were able to use it.

This question was originally posted under general, I apologize but this is should not be under Wrongful Death. The question is in reference to the Jail Reports rights to run an obituary picture. I will repost this question in the correct category.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


Since you had to get the rights to use the photo from the school, the school itself may have a cause of action, but I am not sure you would. I would re-post this questions not under wrongful death but under copyright law, privacy law, or first amendment law (even though it was a law enforcement agency rather than the newspaper who used it without permission). Also, when you post, make sure to explain the reason the jail needed the photo anyway.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation


In addition to the above answer, you should retain a local wrongful death lawyer to investigate a claim against the perpetrator. Good luck.

Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755


The school may have a cause of action over the photo. I don't see where you do.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you. Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


They probably can. I am sorry to hear of your loss.


i am licensed in Georgia and located in Augusta. I have a case presently that is going to put the Jail report out business for their malicious, false, and reckless reporting. they had no right in my view to run a photo of your deceased son who was no "in jail" or "arrested," since he in fact was a victim of a crime. Please visit Call me. i will be glad to give you a free consultation to decide if its worth pursuing. Joe Neal, Jr.