Is is legal for the newspaper to print a minors name in relation to an auto accident?

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Is is legal for the newspaper to print a minors name in relation to an auto accident?

My son took the keys from a lady he knew and drove her car resulting in getting into an accident. A few days later his full name and age, which is 14, was in the sheriffs report in the local paper. However the adult female’s name was not given nor was the other adult who was 19 that was in the car.

Asked on September 30, 2010 under Personal Injury, Iowa

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is always a balance against the right to privacy and freedom of speech.  But unfortunately your son's actions here probably tipped the scales in the other direction and since his name was already "published" in the sheriff's report, it was only "re-printed" in the paper.  There are, of course, certain instances where names are not generally published, like with the victims of crimes.  And I am not saying that it was good judgement to print his name at such a young age but it was really nothing illegal to do so.  This is something that your son will have to deal with now on a whole other level.  Prepare him for it.  Good luck.


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