The Senate Rules committee on Wednesday cleared a measure prohibiting operators of arrest mugshot websites from seeking or accepting money to take the often embarrassing – but public – photos down.
The idea is to head off what some arrestees were calling a form of extortion, involving mugshot sites agreeing to take down a photo only if they were paid to.
But the bill (SB 298) does not create a criminal penalty for websites that may break the proposed law.
Instead, it would require a person to get a court order and possibly wait as long as two weeks to see if the photo is removed.
If not, the website operator is subject to a $1,000-per-day civil fine. The bill doesn’t address enforcing the paying of the fine or consequences of nonpayment.
The bill has no further appearances scheduled before any committee, and could next be heard on the Senate floor.