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Suspects Don’t Have Privacy, Court Rules

CINCINNATI (CN) - Criminal suspects do not have a constitutional right to privacy, the Sixth Circuit ruled, saying the Port Huron Police Department was justified in disclosing the personal information of a woman charged in a drunk-driving accident.

Dorothy Bailey objected to the printing of her name, hometown, photograph, phone number and occupation of her husband, an undercover officer in the drug task force unit of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. She and her husband were involved in an alcohol-related rollover in Port Huron, Mich., in which Bailey claimed to have been driving, but the investigation revealed that her husband had been the driver.

Bailey said the resulting negative media attention prompted people to follow her and her daughter, cut her family's cable connection and crack the windshield of their car. The circuit held that "a criminal suspect does not have the right to keep her mug shot and the information contained in a police report outside of the public domain." See ruling in Bailey v. City of Port Huron.

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