Ohio bill would ban fees for removing mugshots from websites

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio legislators are considering a bill that would make it illegal for companies to charge for removing or editing criminal records information or mugshots that have been published online or in print.

The bill approved this week by the House in an 88-4 vote moves to the Senate for consideration. It targets businesses that publish the information or mugshots and then solicit or accept fees for taking down or correcting the material. Violators would face minor misdemeanor charges and also could be open to lawsuits.

The legislation’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. John Barnes, says some people view the practice of soliciting or accepting fees for removing or correcting the information as “a racket.” He says some companies want people to pay hundreds of dollars to have the information removed.