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PENNSYLVANIA JUDGE APPROVES $14 MILLION SETTLEMENT IN PRIVACY LAWSUIT AGAINST BUCKS COUNTY

December 2, 2020 – We are pleased to announce that after almost 8 years of contentious and hard-fought class action litigation, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone, has granted final approval of our Class Action Lawsuit against Bucks County for illegally publishing criminal records online.

HARD-FOUGHT LITIGATION THAT SPANNED 8 YEARS

Plaintiff Taha sued Bucks County in 2012 after discovering that the County’s Inmate Lookup Tool, which contained mugshots and criminal histories from county records going back to 1938, had made information accessible about a 12-year-old arrest that Taha had gotten expunged. Bucks County’s database was not secure, and several private companies republished Taha’s booking photograph and other information about him on its websites.

In 2016, the Court ruled that Bucks County’s Inmate Lookup Tool had violated Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act by disseminating “criminal history record information” in a manner prohibited by the Act. That same year, the Court certified a punitive damages class consisting of “all persons whose criminal history record information was made available on the BCCF Inmate Lookup Tool.”

OUR SETTLEMENT PROVIDES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN RELIEF TO AGGRIEVED CITIZENS

The $14 Million settlement will award more than 10,000 claimants $600 each in exchange for ending a long-running battle over the county’s “Inmate Lookup Tool,” which had offered public searches of criminal records that had otherwise been expunged.

To read the Judge’s Opinion and learn more about the Taha v. Bucks County Settlement, please click here.

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