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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25215
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Hello, I was in a car accident more than 10 years ago and a

Customer Question

Hello, I was in a car accident more than 10 years ago and a short paragraph of the incident made it in the papers. It still shows up in search on the papers website and it bothers me to have my private name and personal medical information out in public for this long. It really has no purpose, is there anything I can do to have this taken off?

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.
Hi - my name is XXXX XXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

Legally, you cannot force the paper to remove the content because the incident report is public record and can be reported by the paper. However, you certainly can contact the paper and request that it remove the information from its website. They may agree as a courtesy, but it's under no obligation.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

yes, i've already tried that. can you clarify this 'public record'? I mean, I'm not sure how my private life should be out in public? I never consented to my name appearing in this paper? Where is the line drawn? I mean , for example, if I were raped at a party (which is public) perhaps I wouldn't want that incident in the papers with my full name as well?

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.
Sure, I understand what you're saying, BUT if the police are called and an incident report is filed, an arrest is made, charges are filed against someone (like a rapist), etc., those documents are public record and can be viewed by the public - - including the media.

So, if you had a wreck on a public road, then onlookers or members of the media, etc. have the right to take pictures, video, report the incident, etc. Also, if the accident report states injuries, etc., that is also fair game.

Criminal proceedings - - like a rape charge - - are different because of the pending prosecution of the offender. In cases like this, incident reports and investigations are generally protected from public disclosure until after the trial of the case. However, any gruesome, detailed or gory facts and details of the crime would come out at trial - - which is held in an open public courtroom and the media would certainly have the right to report the details in the news

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