Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



One nondescript evening, Dale Menard waited in a park for a friend to pick him up.When his friend did not arrive on schedule, Menard looked into the window of a nearby retirement home to check the time. Shortly thereafter, Menard was arrested based on a resident's prowler report and held by the Los Angeles Police Department for two days. The arrest was based purely on a misunderstanding, and the LAPD never brought charges against Menard. The police did, however, forward his arrest record and fingerprints to the FBI as part of a routine record exchange. One misunderstanding culminated in extended litigation to expunge Menard's criminal FBI file. While expungement alone seems an arduous task, this problem has become even more significant because of the internet. Menard would have faced nearly insurmountable hurdles to removing an online story about the incident, revealing an area of law in serious need of reform.' This type of misleading information is especially troubling as it relates to internet publications.