Bill Text: NJ S2951 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Provides automated expungement process to address convictions for certain crimes, disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and municipal ordinance violations, or arrests or charges therefor not resulting in convictions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-09-17 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S2951 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S2951-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2951

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides automated expungement process to address convictions for certain crimes, disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and municipal ordinance violations, or arrests or charges therefor not resulting in convictions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning an automated expungement process to address convictions for certain offenses and arrests or charges not resulting in convictions, and supplementing chapter 52 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The following records and related information shall be expunged in accordance with the process set forth in this section, if not previously expunged as a result of a person's own expungement petition brought pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq. or following the person's successful discharge from special probation pursuant to subsection m. of N.J.S.2C:35-14, and a time period of six years has passed since the date of the person's most recent conviction, payment of fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence of conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration, or disposition of proceedings for an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction, whichever is later:

     (1)   any conviction for a crime of the fourth degree, so long as its expungement would not surpass the limit on the number of criminal convictions which a person may expunge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2, the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to that section, and the crime is not barred from being expunged pursuant to subsection b. of that section;

     (2)   any conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, so long as its expungement would not surpass the limit on the number of convictions for disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses which a person may expunge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2, addressing convictions for one or more crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, or N.J.S.2C:52-3, addressing convictions for one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses or a combination of one or more disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses, and the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to the applicable section based upon the type and number of convictions;

     (3)   every conviction for a municipal ordinance violation, so long as the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-4; and

     (4)   every arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction, so long as the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-6.

     b.    (1)  (a)  On a quarterly basis in each calendar year, the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police shall coordinate with the Administrative Office of the Courts in order to compile criminal history record information for all convictions and arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction that the bureau currently possesses or has access to which are eligible for expungement pursuant to subsection a. of this section on the basis that a time period of six years has passed since the date of a person's most recent conviction, payment of fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence of conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration, or disposition of proceedings for an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction, whichever is later.  The bureau is not required to compile information on any activity for which the relevant date is more than six years old as of the effective date of this section, unless this information relates to a person for whom there is another activity with a relevant date that is six years old or less as of the effective date of this section, in order for the bureau to compile the complete criminal history record information for that person.

     (b)   The information compiled by the bureau shall be transmitted to each county prosecutor during the first calendar week of the first month of each quarter.

     (2)   (a) Each county prosecutor shall review the compiled information, and in consultation with the State Police and local law enforcement agencies within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction, determine which persons' convictions for crimes, disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and municipal ordinance violations, as well as arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction occurred within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction, and for these convictions and arrests or charges, determine for each, in accordance with N.J.S.2C:52-24, any information which would be a bar to the granting of expungement relief.

     (b)   The information compiled by each county prosecutor on all non-barred, eligible persons' convictions, and arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction from within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction shall be finalized during the first calendar week of the third month of each quarter, and submitted during that week in a filing of non-objection to expungement relief to the Superior Court for that county.  The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-11 shall not apply to the expungement filing by the county prosecutor.

     (3)   (a) The Superior Court, following receipt of a county prosecutor's filing of non-objection to expungement relief, shall review the filing and grant relief concerning the persons and convictions, arrests, and charges contained therein as appropriate in accordance with N.J.S.2C:52-12 through N.J.S.2C:52-14. 

     (b)   Each order for expungement relief issued in response to a county prosecutor's filing shall be delivered by that county prosecutor to all relevant criminal justice and law enforcement agencies who have custody and control of any records specified in the order so that the agencies may comply with the order and it may be enforced in accordance with N.J.S.2C:52-15 et seq.  Additionally, the county prosecutor shall deliver, to the last known address listed in the county prosecutor's records, or records of the State Police or local law enforcement agencies, a letter or other notice to each person whose conviction, arrest, or charge has been expunged in accordance with the order for expungement relief.

     c.     A court order vacating an expungement that is granted to any person pursuant to this section may be issued:

     (1)   Upon the person's subsequent conviction, in this State or any other jurisdiction, for any crime, disorderly persons or petty persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation; or

     (2)   Upon an action filed by the county prosecutor whose filing of non-objection to expungement relief resulted in the expunging of the person's records, if done with notice to the person, and upon a showing of proof that the expungement was granted in error due to a statutory disqualification to expungement that existed at the time the relief was initially granted.      

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following enactment, except that the Attorney General, in consultation with the State Bureau of Identification, county prosecutors, and State and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the Administrative Office of the Courts, may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act, including the compiling of the criminal history record information by the State Bureau of Identification to be initially transmitted to the county prosecutors following the act taking effect.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would provide an automated expungement process to address convictions for certain fourth degree crimes, disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and municipal ordinance violations, or arrests or charges therefor not resulting in convictions.  The expungement process would be triggered, if not already successfully petitioned for by a person pursuant to the expungement law set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq. or provided for following successful discharge from special probation drug court pursuant to subsection m. of N.J.S.2C:35-14, following the passing of six years from the date of the person's most recent conviction, payment of fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence of conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration, or disposition of proceedings for an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction, whichever is later.  The specific convictions and arrests or charges not resulting in convictions to which the automated expungement process would apply include:

     - any conviction for a crime of the fourth degree, so long as its expungement would not surpass the limit on the number of criminal convictions which a person may expunge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2, the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to that statute, and the crime is not barred from being expunged by that statute (such as fourth degree criminal sexual contact);

     - any conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, so long as its expungement would not surpass the limit on the number of convictions for disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses which a person may expunge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2, addressing convictions for one or more crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, or N.J.S.2C:52-3, addressing convictions for one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses or a combination of one or more disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses, and the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to the applicable statute based upon the type and number of convictions;

     - every conviction for a municipal ordinance violation, so long as the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-4; and

     - every arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction, so long as the person would otherwise be eligible to seek expungement relief pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-6.

     On a quarterly basis in each calendar year, the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police would coordinate with the Administrative Office of the Courts in order to compile criminal history record information for all convictions and arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction that the bureau currently possesses or has access to which are eligible for expungement on the basis that the expungement waiting period time of six years has passed on the relevant (most recently occurring) conviction-related, or arrest- or charge-related activity as described above.  The information compiled by the bureau would be transmitted to each county prosecutor during the first calendar week of the first month of each quarter. 

     The bureau would not be required to compile information on any activity for which the expungement waiting period has already exceeded six years as of the effective date of the bill, unless this information relates to a person for whom the six-year waiting period has not yet passed with respect to a relevant date for a different conviction-related, or arrest- or charge-related activity, in order for the bureau to compile the complete criminal history record information for that person.  This general cut-off beyond a six-year "look back" from the bill's effective date is intended to prevent overwhelming administrative burdens on the State Bureau of Identification and Administrative Office of the Courts (as well as county prosecutor offices, based on their eventual involvement) in implementing the bill's automated expungement process, and done in recognition that persons with such convictions, arrests, or charges that miss this cut-off may still avail themselves of the expungement process by making an application for expungement pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq. or subsection m. of N.J.S.2C:35-14.  All persons who may be provided automatic expungement relief pursuant to the bill are still required to meet all applicable statutory eligibility requirements for expungement as if presenting a personal application, thus these persons are not so dissimilar except for the added eligibility to obtain an automatic expungement.

     Upon receipt of the information compiled by the State Bureau of Identification, each county prosecutor would review the information, and in consultation with the State Police and local law enforcement agencies within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction, determine which persons' convictions for crimes, disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and municipal ordinance violations, as well as arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction occurred within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction, and for these convictions and arrests or charges, determine for each, in accordance with N.J.S.2C:52-24, any information which would bar the granting of expungement relief.

     The information compiled by each county prosecutor on all non-barred, eligible persons' convictions, and arrests or charges not resulting in a conviction from within the prosecutor's county of jurisdiction would be finalized during the first calendar week of the third month of each quarter, and submitted during that week in a filing of non-objection to expungement relief to the Superior Court for that county.

     The Superior Court, following receipt of a county prosecutor's filing, would review it and grant relief concerning the persons and convictions, arrests, and charges contained therein as appropriate in accordance with the relevant expungement law set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-12 through N.J.S.2C:52-14.  Each order for expungement relief issued by the court would be delivered by the county prosecutor to all relevant criminal justice and law enforcement agencies who have custody and control of any records specified in the order so that the agencies may comply with the order and it may be enforced.  Additionally, the county prosecutor would deliver, to the last known address listed in the county prosecutor's records, or records of the State Police or local law enforcement agencies, a letter or other notice to each person whose conviction, arrest, or charge has been expunged in accordance with the order for expungement relief.

     Following a grant of expungement relief, a court order vacating an expungement may be issued: (1) upon a person's subsequent conviction, in this State or another jurisdiction, for any crime, disorderly persons or petty persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation; or (2) upon an action filed by the county prosecutor whose filing of non-objection to expungement relief resulted in the expunging of a person's records, if done with notice to the person, and upon a showing of proof that the expungement was granted in error due to a statutory disqualification to expungement that existed at the time the relief was initially granted.

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