Is a website which publishes detainee mugshots within their rights to also post the detainee’s physical address?

UPDATED: Jan 24, 2012

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Is a website which publishes detainee mugshots within their rights to also post the detainee’s physical address?

I was arrested for failure to appear about 14 months ago. Yesterday, out of boredom I typed my name into a search engine and my photo came up on a couple of mugshot websites. That doesn’t bother me but what does is the fact that with that my address at that time was also displayed. My family still lives there. Are these sites within their rights to display my exact address?

Asked on January 24, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. The posting of mug shots of individuals who have been arrested and convicted of a crime would seemingly be allowed by the entity that is doing the posting.

However, the posting of the physical address of the person who has been arrested in conjunction with the mug shot may be deemed in violation of that person's right to privacy. However, by analogy, with telephone books people are listed in the books with an actual telephone number and address unless they request to be unlisted.

I see your point about the apparent display of your mug shot and mailing address. However, if the information is accurate and the websites are designed for a public benefit, there is a good chance that what was posted as to you would not give rise for a factual and legal basis for a lawsuit by you against the website.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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