Mug Shot Response – Mug Shot Removal Request

Below is an auto-reply from the support team of  justmugshots.com. AKA…Citizens Information Associates – out of Austin, TX – and; dbabustedmugshots.commugshotsonline.comlookwhogotbusted.com.

I read their response and was elated that GA’s HB 150 is making a difference.  The law in Georgia prevents such companies from extorting money off people’s misfortunes.  However, I can’t help the sickening reality of how much control over citizen’s lives private companies have.  It’s actually scary to say the least.  The law is clear that they cannot charge a mug shot removal fee based on one’s disposition, but they have now placed the burden of proof on the citizen.  Why?  These companies downloaded public records for free and would care less about one’s vindication.  It has always been about the mighty dollar. The heights of manipulation at its best: one computer, one person downloaded and uploaded millions of public records free of cost. They are now mandating the victim to produce his or her own dispositions (“Case Update”) to update the Internet record as a way of offering some relief.  Wow! The potential employer can now see that you were once arrested, but it was a wrongful arrest; charges dismissed.  We all know of the stigma and how being arrested is damaging… Period!  This only adds to the manipulation by now having manpower free of cost.  So the victims are further being extorted over and over again.  Why do we recognize these type companies as legitimate businesses I will never comprehend.  Why they have so much control over one’s life is outrageous – only in America.  There is so much work to be done. When unethical people prey on others as they are doing, they are preying on each of us.    Help Reclaim Our Dignity in the fight to rid these companies for good. Sign our petition:http://chn.ge/1ayUvkC

_________________________________

From: <support@justmugshots.com>

Subject: Request Received: Georgia Removal

 

Hi,

 Your email has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff. Due to the high volume of email we receive, please allow up to 3-5 business days for a reply. Please note that we do not accept payment for removal, and only perform courtesy removals under the following conditions:

 Arrested individual was a minor (under 18) at the time of arrest, or

Arrested individual is now deceased, or,
Arrested individual is a Georgia resident, the arrest occurred in GA, and the individual qualifies under conditions of Georgia HB150.

If the above doesn’t apply to you, you may be able to qualify for a Case Update instead!

 A Case Update is for people who don’t qualify for a removal under the conditions listed above. This allows for an updated resolution to be added to the existing mugshot page, which indicates the outcome of the arrest.

We will add a Case Update to your page when you provide proof of any 1 of the following conditions, and that proof is verified by our Support Team:
-All charges against the arrested individual were dropped or otherwise not pursued OR;

-The arrested individual was adjudicated not guilty on all charges

Note that pre-trial diversion and similar programs do NOT qualify for any of the benefits of the Courtesy Update Programs.

 If either of the above Removal or Case Update conditions describes your situation, please send proof of condition being met, along with the link to your mugshot page.

 

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Gov. Deal Signs Georgia’s HB 845 – April 24, 2014

Georgia's HB 845 Signing - April 24, 2014

Gov. Nathan Deal signs the mug shot bill into law. Bill sponsor Rep. Brian Strickland, far right, is joined by open government advocate and newspaper editor Jim Zachary, activist Sophia Andrade, Rep. Roger Bruce, Brandon Bruce and Olivia Sims.

The Staff of the Henry Daily Herald wrote:

ATLANTA — It will now be illegal for publications such as Mugshots.com to obtain arrest booking photos in Georgia, post them on websites and charge people to have them removed — and little damage was done to the state’s public records laws in the process.
Gov. Nathan Deal ratified HB 845 in his office Thursday.
Rep. Brian Strickland, who drafted the legislation, worked until the final days of the 2014 legislative session to get the bill passed.
“I was proud to stand by Gov. Deal as he signed HB 845 into law. This bill changes the way arrest images are released in Georgia and will prevent online companies from profiting on the backs of innocent Georgians,” Strickland said.
The new law requires anyone who requests a mug shot to submit a statement that the image will not be used on a website or in a publication that charges for removal.
Early drafts of the bill would have exempted mug shots from public disclosure under the state’s Open Records Act until an individual was actually convicted of a crime.
But when the state’s newspaper association and open government advocates raised concerns, Strickland altered the language to more specifically target Mugshots.com-type websites and not restrict what he called “the legitimate media.”
The Georgia Press Association, its Executive Director Robin Rhodes and General Counsel David Hudson worked with the lawmaker to find language that would allow newspapers, and other media, to continue to publish mug shots.
“Thanks to the Georgia Press Association for working with me in this effort to ensure that we drafted a bill that preserved the First Amendment rights of our press while letting these foreign online companies that operate under the guise as legitimate media know that they are not welcome in Georgia,” Strickland said at the bill signing.
“Because of the work that went into drafting this bill, HB 845 enjoyed rare unanimous passage in both the House and the Senate. In a political climate that sees the divide between political parties literally shutting down government’s ability to function, it is great to see Republicans and Democrats in Georgia come together on a great piece of legislation.”
Jim Zachary is the director of the Transparency Project of Georgia, editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald, an active member of the Georgia Press Association and long-time open government advocate.
Zachary, who first approached Strickland with concerns about the original language in the bill said, “As open government advocates, concerned citizens and journalists, we obviously believe that nearly all government records should be public records and would resist any further erosion of Georgia’s open records and open meetings legislation. Brian was very receptive to those concerns and very reasonable in his approach to this legislation.”
While Zachary said placing a restriction on access to a public record is not preferred, exempting intake photos from public records would have been far worse.
“This was a balancing act,” he said. “Georgia’s newspapers are not in favor of the practices of Mugshots.com and similar websites. What they do is extortion. Rep. Strickland’s ability to compromise and have productive, open dialogue is how good government should work. In the end, he may not have gotten everything he wanted out of the bill and we may not have gotten everything we wanted, but we all got something that we could live with.”
Kelsey Cochran, journalist and co-founder of the Transparency Project of Georgia, said the earliest drafts of the bill would have had a “catastrophic” effect on the way public safety information is shared in Georgia.
“Reporters and police agencies alike rely on these images to disseminate crucial information to the public,” she said. “Any attempt to alter the laws made to protect that information should be watched closely. Thankfully, HB 845 was passed as an acceptable compromise.”
Sophia Andrade represents the cause group Reclaim Our Dignity that lobbied on behalf of the bill. Andrade, who said she was one of the many victims of the websites that post mug shots and charge for removal, testified in House hearings.
Thursday Andrade said, “The private mugshot industry has been a silent plague in our society for many years, but no more in the state of Georgia. HB 845 certainly renews our hope in the justice system as it has been dimmed for so many. Reclaim Our Dignity is so proud of Rep. Strickland for seeing the injustice, and his willingness to advocate for stiffer laws against private mug shot companies this past legislative session.”

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End of Georgia’s 2013-2014 Legislative Session Update

Hello Everyone,

First of all I would like to thank each of you for your support and your kind words.  Last night was the last day of Session and I was there when the Speaker raised the gavel and announced “Sine Die” at midnight. That ended the 2013-2014, Georgia Legislative Session.   

It was a BIG WIN for Reclaim Our Dignity, because HB 845 passed both the House and the Senate and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.  Some of you may feel this bill doesn’t help the ones that already have mug shots out there, and you are absolutely right!  This bill’s intent is to eventually dry up (eradicate) the private mug shot industry.  It is obvious that something in our justice system is broken and thus bills like HB 150 and HB 845 are being introduced.  With that being said, I agree that it’s not fair that we have to fight so hard to get our lives back, but life is challenging, and let’s face it, we are in this place, and in order to move on, we have to remain strong and active.   The mug shot companies that refuse to take our mug shots are in violation of the law; those are mainly the ones out of this country.   We have to believe HB 845 will cut off their supply of booking records.  Another way of drying them up is not to pay them at all, and not to support the companies that place ads on their sites. 

The POWER is really in our hands; we just need to put our heads, talents, and skills together to help end his injustice.  We will continue to exercise our rights under Georgia’s status, and demand they remove our mug shots.  Reclaim Our Dignity continues to fight for federal laws, and just maybe they will address the offshore companies in the process. 

In the meantime, we must give thanks to our victories and to Rep. Brian Strickland.  He was committed to helping us and with such zeal. Think about others behind us that will get wrongfully arrested and how this law will help that person to move on with their lives much quicker when we couldn’t.  That’s progress! Think about the possibility of being arrested again and how this law will help us.  That is progress!  We should never turn our noses up on progress when it helps someone else and even when it doesn’t help us.  It is when we can be unselfish that it comes back to us. We have to believe that the laws and systems we strive for will work in our best interest.

 Last year HB 150 was the beginning, and this year HB 845 piggybacked from it and we will continue to tweak and advocate for justice.  As the mug shot companies plot and plan as to how to keep up their racket, we utilize our laws to protect us. No one said it was going to be easy or the journey quick, but I will remind you that perseverance and dedication will always WIN. It’s the law of the universe. 

I am always reminded of Matthew 7: 7-8 “”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8″For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Trust in this and it will not only work for you it will give you peace. 

 Action: Sign our petition for federal laws and get others to sign, so that lawmakers know that we are serious and need their help: http://chn.ge/1mhHRKB

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HB 845 has bipartisan support!!! Georgia Legislators Paving the way to JUSTICE against unscrupulous Mug Shot Predators.

March 03/03/2014 is Crossover Day at our State’s Capitol and HB 845 passed in the House unanimously right around 9:10 PM, and is heading on over to the Senate side… Yeah!!!!  

Last session, HB 150 paved the path to finding relief and justice to the many victims of private mug shot extortion.  It’s a long road ahead, but Reclaim Our Dignity will continue to advocate for justice until it’s the law of the land where innocent people are not being taken advantage of.  If you commit a crime, then you must prepare yourself to do the time.  However, true innocence must be free indeed.  No private entity should ever have control over anyone’s life and permanently for that matter.  I am glad that the Representatives of the State of Georgia are doing right by its citizens in this matter. 

See excerpt from HB 845 below:   

19 (c) An arresting law enforcement agency shall not provide or make available a copy of a

20 booking photograph in any format to a person requesting such photograph if:

21 (1) Such booking photograph may be placed in a publication or posted to a website or

22 transferred to a person to be placed in a publication or posted to a website; and

23 (2) Removal or deletion of such booking photograph from such publication or website

24 requires the payment of a fee or other consideration.

25 (d) When a person requests a booking photograph, he or she shall submit a statement

26 affirming that the use of such photograph is in compliance with subsection (c) of this Code

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LC 29 5993S

H. B. 845 (SUB)

– 1 –

27 section. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement in requesting a booking

28 photograph shall be guilty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-20.”

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GA AG’s Office Don’t Believe they can Enforce Georgia’s Law: ACT 188. Are we then at the mercy of foreign bullying? R.O.D.’s appeal to its AG office.

Dear Mr. Olens:

I wrote you a letter on July 11, 2013, regarding compliancy issues with one of our laws; pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia, Section 10-1-393.5(b), subsection (2), as amended via Georgia House Bill 150, a bill duly signed into State law on May 6, 2013.  Mr. Drolet redirected me to the governor’s office of consumer protection. Both your office and the office of consumer protection were unable to offer any effective solutions.  On behalf of the thousands of victims in Georgia that this law is intended to give relief to is not being upheld.  It seems we are being mocked that our AG’s office is a non- action state.  Frankly, mugshots.com has stated both verbally and written that this law in question means nothing to them.  I am sure you will agree that if any entity threatens the stability of Georgians it’s this State’s duty to protect its citizens. Please indulge us by making a call to mugshots.com (800-818-3965) inquiring the removal of derogatory information of an innocent person and validate their response for yourself.  You will get the same response we all have, which is, “we are not abiding by this unconstitutional law; you must pay a removal fee”.  Then tell us why a private entity that is causing more harm than good has so much power over anyone’s life.  I took the liberty to view the duties of your office, its mission, vision, and guiding principles.  What stood out for me is your office guiding principles which says:

“We are at all times trustees and servants of the people. We will be accessible and responsive to them and will foster public confidence in this department.

Guided by the law, we will always strive to do what’s right

Our commitment to serve the public requires that we be completely trustworthy, dependable and self-disciplined and that we maintain an office of unquestionable honesty and integrity.”

I recently learned that your office has no intentions of enforcing the “mug shot” law based on the mug shot companies domicile in another country, and out of this state for that matter.  If these companies continue to negatively affect Georgians by extortion, vilifying the innocent, and others who have already paid their debt to society, they are subject to our laws regardless of where they are located. Your office has the means and authority to mandate mugshots.com to cease and desist their unethical practices in this State.  Your office promised to serve, protect, to be responsive to our cries and to foster our confidence that you will do what you promised.  So far, our confidence level is low, but we are not without hope that you will do what is right in the best interest of our citizens.  I understand enforcing one law over the other is at your discretion.   

Mr. Olens, we are simply asking, on behalf of the many victims that are suffering in the State of Georgia, and in conjunction with the Governor’s re-entry program, to prevent these private mug shot companies from holding its citizens hostage on the internet indefinitely and for monies they have not earned.  We are asking that your office which is guided by the law to have anyone or any entity that deals with Georgians to comply with our laws.  We are asking your office to stand up for us and protect us from both foreign and domestic harm.  We look forward to your careful decision in assisting us in this matter.   Thank you for your time and your service to this great State of Georgia. 

Regards,

Reclaim Our Dignity

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Petition: Legislation to eradicate private mug shot companies

Dear FB friends, I am advocating for people who have been arrested and negatively impacted by the process. GUILTY or NOT, private mug shot companies are making millions by posting the mug shots. This is INJUSTICE; NO private company should have such control over anyone’s life. Please sign my petition. Let’s SHUT them down and help restore lives: http://chn.ge/1jwuWTH

 

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Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season!

Release the Past and be Grateful for what is yet to Come.

    “This is the ending of another calendar year.  The past months were filled with promises, hopes, goals, and desires.  As you reflect on the past year, you may be touched with gratitude- or maybe with feelings of regret for what did or did not happen.  Consider how life moved through you.  Consider the changes that you moved through.  Reflect on how far you have come.  Understand that everything that you went through had a lesson for you.

  I choose to be grateful, regardless of what I went through.  I am grateful simply because I know that my life is the life of God.  I release the past joyfully with an open heart, and I welcome the New Year.  With God as my shepherd, I shall not want for anything.  I plant seeds of gratitude, wholeness, unity, prosperity, perfect health, and abundant blessings.”

 I know 2014 is going to be the best year of my life!  I believe it! I know it!   Believe it for you and trust that it will. 

 Be safe everyone!

Sophia

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