COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 6, legislation that creates the offense of “misuse of criminal record information.”
House Bill 6 prohibits a person who disseminates information regarding criminal records from accepting payment for removing or modifying that information. Under the legislation, violating this prohibition could result in a first-degree misdemeanor. It also allows a victim who suffers a loss or harm from such a violation to be awarded punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees, court costs and other legal remedies.
State Representative Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) chairs the House Criminal Justice Committee, which vetted the legislation prior to its passage on the House floor. Following today’s vote, Rep. Manning released the following statement:
“House Bill 6 is a common-sense piece of legislation that keeps people from improperly profiting off of the dissemination of criminal records. What we have found is that this information, such as mug shots, names and addresses, remains online long after the person’s offense has been rectified or even in some cases expunged. In many cases, the person publishing these details agrees to remove it only by charging fees or accepting other payment. This bill puts in place legal safeguards to protect against a victim’s reputation from being unfairly tarnished.”
House Bill 6 now awaits consideration in the Senate.