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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  since 1983
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Background: About 2 months The police busted a nail

Customer Question

About 2 months The police busted a nail salon/massage spa for prostitution that I used to go to occasionally ( I used to get pedicures and an occasional massage, all legit, nothing sexual). They arrested/prosecuted those at the bust. Just this week they released the names of people in the spa's credit card system to a select group of journalists. My name and company credit card came up in the system. I was never charged with, arrested for or convicted of any crime in relation to this
Yesterday a journalist from a local paper emailed my company saying they had my name and credit card and were going to publish an article about local companies linked to this sting, and asked for permission from us and a comment and or statement.
-Can they publish an article using me or my company's information implying involvement with prostitution, when I was never arrested charged or convicted?
-Why did they want my consent, can't they just publish an article if they want to?
-Is they anything I can do or say (like a cease and desist from a law firm) to stop them from publishing my info?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me as I verify somethings for you. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience

Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 month ago.


Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

I am very much afraid that you are not going to be happy with the information that I have to provide you. Sadly there really is no way you can stop them from publishing this article and including your name in it. Under the First Amendment to the Constitution provisions pertaining to a free press the paper is protected and allowed to make such publications. Lawsuits trying to stop this type of article are never successful because "Prior Restraint" of the press has been determined by the courts to be unconstitutional.

Further, unless they publish something that is clearly and obviously false, they are protected from a defamation lawsuit. Only if you can show that they maliciously published something they knew to be false is there even the remote chance of a successful litigation. The costs of such litigation would be enormous.

They contacted you not for your consent, but rather so they could say that you were contacted but did not comment.

You may have some luck in contacting the reporter and providing a statement to be included. How you were unaware of the activities and are saddened that they were occurring in what seemed like a legitimate establishment.

I am so very sorry that I can not provide you with a different answer, but that would be misleading to you and cause you to pursue something that can not happen.

Here is some additional information on prior restraint:

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you for your answer sir, but is it ok if you opt out?
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 month ago.

Yes. I am happy to do so. I understand that you may wish to have another expert review your question.

My goal is only that you get the best information that will be helpful to you.

My sincere best wishes for you.

Kind regards,


(Please do not rate me so that the question will remain open for another expert.)

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 month ago.

New Expert here,

You might want to notify the publisher that you object to any article that implies that you ever solicited a prostitute, and if they publish such an article, they should expect a libel suit. A letter from an attorney would have more impact, but you should try to warn them in advance that the list released by the police is not newsworthy and invades the privacy of the many innocent customers of the business that was raided.

I hope this information is helpful.

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