Giving out your address

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Yossarian75, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Yossarian75

    Yossarian75 New Member

    We all know that it is not a good idea to give your address to strangers. I personally will not give my address out to anyone unless I have to. Ive been asked for it by bus drivers(who've messed up my ticket), shops when returning faulty goods etc and told them no.

    What I have noticed is my local newspaper will print the full name and address of any adult who has appeared in court for commiting a crime. These crimes vary from misdemeanors(drunken disorderly, public order) to more serious crimes. They never seem to print sex offenders addresses though.

    Im a good law abiding citezen like im sure most of MAP users are too. My point is the law can be rather unfair and people who defend themselves can get in trouble. Imagine are forced to fight someone, you win and your attacker presses charges or the police see it and you get charged with breach of the peace/public order offence. Two weeks later your full name and address are in the paper and you get a home visit from your attacker and his mates.

    Are there no privacy laws that can prevent this kind of thing?
  2. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    I know that privacy laws would vary from state to state here, and probably from country to country. I would check with your local governing entity to see what yours are, or if you even have any. I know that here in the states, many reported crimes become a matter of public record at some point. Whether or not the address are shown is another question. Of all the crime related stories reported in the newspapers here, all I've ever seen is a name and age, and what happened, but no physical address.
  3. Kinjiro Tsukasa

    Kinjiro Tsukasa I'm hungry; got troll? Supporter

    Whether or not your name appears also depends on the size of the town. In a tiny town, where there is hardly any crime, and every little thing that happens is news, the whole police log may be published in the local paper, complete with names and addresses. The disposition of all the court cases may be in there, too (not to mention all the home sales, including price paid). In a city, the newspapers can hardly spare the time or space to publish that stuff.

    When I lived in a small town, if someone found a bat in the attic, or had to stop his car because a tortoise was crossing the road, it made the police log, and hence, the news. Where I am now, the only police log items that make the paper are bank robberies, assaults, etc. The name/address-publishing thing is kind of unfair, but apparently, not against the law.
  4. budogirl

    budogirl Armed and fabulous!

    I am not a lawyer but this is my answer:
    The "privacy law" that you mention relates to whether the media (e.g. newspaper in your example) is in Comtempt of Court (Act 1981). Section 11 can prevent publication of material arising from proceedings in open court.

    This mainly relates to vulnerable persons (e.g. children - section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933). However, these restrictions can be relaxed if the court feels it is in public interest (for example publishing names of youth offenders who breach their ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order).

    An individual can apply for anonymity under section 11 of the contempt of court act - that is they are not named - and it has to be in writing and give reasons and scope for the order. If this specific order is not in place, the media can release the details.

    Some interesting case law:
    1. An army officer was found not guilty of threatening to kill his pregnant ex girlfriend. He complained about having his name and address and photo reported saying it had breached his privacy (breaching clause 3 of the code of practice).
    This is from the press complaints website:

    "The editor explained his usual policy of reporting defendants' addresses as part of their identity, and considered the complainant's wish for privacy had been motivated by career concerns. Further, the judge had revoked an Order preventing publicity under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, having accepted the newspaper's challenge that the proper criterion for such an Order was not security, but whether publicity would pose a risk to the proceedings.

    The Commission noted that the material relating to the complainant had come into the public domain and so the editor was legally entitled to publish it. However, one of the central purposes of the Code is to afford protection to the vulnerable, which can extend an editor's obligations beyond what is required by law. Therefore, the central question for the Commission to consider was whether the complainant had made out a case of vulnerability which required protection for him - and which outweighed the routine publication of defendants' addresses in Court cases, a practice which applies to all other individuals and which has been endorsed by the Lord Chancellor's Department.

    The Commission noted that the complainant - who was found not guilty - had clearly taken steps to protect his privacy. In particular, the precise nature of his own situation, including details of possible future service, had been made available to the Court and to the newspaper. However, the Commission was not satisfied that a sufficient case had been made out that publication of his details would compromise his safety and make him especially vulnerable. Indeed, there was no evidence that the publicity surrounding the trial - in which he was acquitted - had affected him any more injuriously because of the publication of his photo and address than would otherwise have been the case.

    In the absence of any such compelling reasons, the Commission could not find in favour of the complainant that the Code should have provided him with special protection that is not afforded others.

    2. In another case, a newspaper won the right to publish the names and address of a couple facing court over child porn. The newspaper argued that the couple's names were very common that if the address was not also published, they could be sued for libel by people of the same name.

    Sex offenders are unfortunately protected for their own safety. What can I say, the law is an ass (except when you get some dumb public who attack a paedatrician cos they think that means paedophile!).
  5. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Boy, in the states they'll post it everywhere. I'm especially upset when accused rapists names are in the paper and then some of them are found not guilty. Then that story follows them everywhere.

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