Mug Shots, Public in Almost All States, Closed By Federal Court

Releasing mug shot photographs under the federal Freedom of Information Act would violate the personal privacy rights of those depicted, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta (11th Cir.) held on Friday in Karantsalis v. Department of Justice.

As the second federal appellate level court to address the issue, the Eleventh Circuit’s decision to deny access to mug shots held by federal authorities creates a split in the circuits; the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati (6th Cir.) held in 1996 that there was no recognizable personal privacy interest in such photographs.

Theodore Karantsalis requested access to the mug shots of Luis Giro, a wealthy former president of his own investment firm who pleaded guilty in 2009 to securities fraud. After having his request denied by the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Karantsalis represented himself before the federal district court before obtaining counsel to face the court of appeals.

More here….

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