Bill Text: NJ S3205 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Revises expungement eligibility and procedures. *

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 12-0)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-06-10 - Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (50-15-6) [S3205 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3205-Amended.html

[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3205

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 26, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Revises certain procedures for expungement of records of conviction.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 18, 2019, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning certain procedures for expunging records of conviction and revising various parts of the statutory law.

 

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

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:52-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-1. Definition of Expungement.  a.  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, expungement shall mean the extraction, [and] 1[sealing] impounding,1 or isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a person's detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an  offense within the criminal justice system.

     b.    Expunged records shall include complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, "rap sheets" and judicial docket records.

(cf: P.L.1979, c.178, s.108)

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:52-2 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-2.     Indictable Offenses.

     a.     In all cases, except as herein provided, a person may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this [section] subsection if:

     the person has been convicted of one crime under the laws of this State, and does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for another crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction; or

     the person has been convicted of one crime and less than four disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, and does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for another crime, or [any prior or subsequent] conviction for another disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense such that the total number of convictions for disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses would exceed three, whether any such crime or offense conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction; or

     the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, all of which are listed in a single judgment of conviction, and does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for another crime or offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether any such conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction; or

     the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, which crimes or combination of crimes and offenses were interdependent or closely related in circumstances  and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time, regardless of the date of conviction or sentencing for each individual crime or offense, and the person does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for another crime or offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether any such conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction.

     The person, if eligible, may present the expungement application after the expiration of a period of [six] five years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later. The term "fine" as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. The person shall submit the expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction for the crime was adjudged, 1[which contains a separate,] including a1 duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 [for each conviction sought to be expunged,] praying that the conviction, or convictions if applicable, and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged. The petition [for each conviction] appended to an application shall comply with the requirements set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.

     Notwithstanding the provisions concerning the [six-year] five-year time requirement, if a fine which is [currently] subject at the time of application to collection under the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) is not yet satisfied due to reasons other than willful noncompliance, but the time requirement of [six] five years is otherwise satisfied, the person may submit the expungement application and the court may grant an expungement, provided, however, that [if expungement is granted under this paragraph,] the court shall provide [for the continued collection of any outstanding amount owed that is necessary to satisfy the fine or] the entry of civil judgment in the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey and transfer collections and disbursement responsibility to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey for the outstanding amount in accordance with section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1).

     Additionally, an application may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than [six] five years have expired in accordance with the time requirements when the court finds:

     (1)   the fine is satisfied but less than [six] five years have expired from the date of satisfaction, and the time requirement of [six] five years is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine; or

     (2)   at least [five] four but less than [six] five years have expired from the date of the most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and

     the person has not been otherwise convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the most recent conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that 1[expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense or offenses, and the applicant's character and conduct since the conviction or convictions] compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement.  The prosecutor may object pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-241.

     In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person's age at the time of the offense or offenses, the person's financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person's ability to pay.

     b.    1["Clean slate" expungement.  In all cases, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this subsection if the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State and is not otherwise eligible under subsection a. of this section.

     The person, if eligible, may present the expungement application after the expiration of a period of ten years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later. The term "fine" as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. The person shall submit the expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction for the most recent crime was adjudged, which contains a separate, duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 for each conviction sought to be expunged, praying that the conviction or convictions, and all records and information pertaining thereto, be expunged. The petition for each conviction appended to an application shall comply with the requirements set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.

     Notwithstanding the provisions concerning the ten-year time requirement, if a fine which is currently subject to collection under the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) is not yet satisfied due to reasons other than willful noncompliance, but the time requirement of ten years is otherwise satisfied, the person may submit the expungement application and the court may grant an expungement, provided, however, that if expungement is granted under this subsection, the court shall provide for the entry of civil judgment in the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey and transfer collection and disbursement responsibility to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey for the outstanding amount in accordance with section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1).]1

     Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged.

     Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.2C:11-5 and strict liability vehicular homicide as specified in section 1 of P.L.2017, c.165 (C.2C:11-5.3); N.J.S.2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6) (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); N.J.S.2C:14-2 (Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, N.J.S.2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or N.J.S.2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); N.J.S.2C:15-1 (Robbery); N.J.S.2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or causing the child other harm); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act or for portrayal in a sexually suggestive manner); paragraph (3) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of an act, or to be portrayed in a sexually suggestive manner); subparagraph (a) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); section 8 of P.L.2017, c.141 (C.2C:24-4.1) (Leader of a child pornography network); N.J.S.2C:28-1 (Perjury); N.J.S.2C:28-2 (False Swearing); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:34-1 (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.

     Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment.

     c.     [In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:

     (1)   Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than one ounce;

     (2)   Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than five grams; or

     (3)   Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner's character and conduct since conviction.]  1[(Deleted by amendment, P.L.    c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)]1

     1(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, in the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:

     (a)   Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than one ounce;

     (b)   Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than five grams; or

     (c)   Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement.  The prosecutor may object pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-24.

     (2)   Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, beginning on the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 2703(1R)), the following persons may file a petition for an expedited expungement at any time:

     (a)   any person who, prior to the effective date, was charged with, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any number of offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute unlawful distribution of, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (11) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5, or a lesser amount of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (12) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5 or a violation of either of those paragraphs and a violation of subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7) or subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.327 (C.2C:35-7.1) for distributing, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, on or within 1,000 feet of any school property, or on or within 500 feet of the real property comprising a public housing facility, public park, or public building;

     (b)   any person who, prior to the effective date, was charged with, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any number of offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute, obtaining or possessing marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-10; or

     (c)   any person who, prior to the effective date, was charged with, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for any number of offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute a violation involving marijuana or hashish as described in subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph and using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia with that marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.2C:36-2.

     (3)   The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to a petition filed pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection and the court, upon review of the petition, shall immediately grant an expedited expungement for each charge, conviction, or adjudication of delinquency pursuant to this section.

     (4)   No fee shall be charged for an expedited expungement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection.

     (5)   Any public employee, or public agency that provides information or records pursuant to this section shall be immune from criminal and civil liability as a result of an act of commission or omission by that person or entity arising out of and in the course of participation in, or assistance with, in good faith, an expedited expungement.  The immunity shall be in addition to and not in limitation of any other immunity provided by law.1

     d.    In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c.300 (C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the [court] prosecutor shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.1)

     3.    N.J.S.2C:52-3 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-3.     Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses.

     a.     Applicability.  Any person who has been convicted of one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section.  Any person who has been convicted of one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State who has also been convicted of one or more crimes shall not be eligible to apply for an expungement pursuant to this section, but may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2.

     b.    Eligibility.  Any person who has been convicted of one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section if:

     the person has been convicted, under the laws of this State, on the same or separate occasions of no more than [four] five disorderly persons offenses, no more than [four] five petty disorderly persons offenses, or a combination of no more than [four] five disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses, and the person does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, such that the total number of convictions for disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses would exceed [four] five; or

     the person has been convicted of multiple disorderly persons offenses or multiple petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, or a combination of multiple disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, which convictions were entered on the same day, and does not otherwise have any [prior or] subsequent conviction for another offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether any such conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction; or

     the person has been convicted of multiple disorderly persons offenses or multiple petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, or a combination of multiple disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, which offenses or combination of offenses were interdependent or closely related in circumstances and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time, regardless of the date of conviction or sentencing for each individual offense, and the person does not otherwise have any prior or subsequent conviction for another offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction.

     1Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, for purposes of determining eligibility to present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section,  beginning on the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 2703(1R)), the following shall not be considered a conviction of a crime within this State or any other jurisdiction, regardless of when the conviction occurred, but shall instead be considered a conviction of a disorderly person offense within this State or an equivalent category of offense within the other jurisdiction:  a conviction for unlawful distribution of, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (11) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5, or a lesser amount of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (12) of subsection b. of that section, or a violation of either of those paragraphs and a violation of subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7) or subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.327 (C.2C:35-7.1), for distributing, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, on or within 1,000 feet of any school property, or on or within 500 feet of the real property comprising a public housing facility, public park, or public building, or for obtaining or possessing marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-10, or for an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction.  A conviction for obtaining, possessing, using, being under the influence of, or failing to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (4) of subsection a., or subsection b., or subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:35-10, or a violation involving marijuana or hashish as described herein and using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia with that marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.2C:36-2, or for an equivalent crime or offense in another jurisdiction, regardless of when the conviction occurred, shall not be considered a conviction within this State or any other jurisdiction.1

     The person, if eligible, may present the expungement application after the expiration of a period of five years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later.  The term "fine" as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.  The person shall submit the expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the most recent conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense was adjudged, 1[which contains a separate,] including a1 duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 1[for each conviction sought to be expunged,]1 praying that the conviction, or convictions if applicable, and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.  The petition 1[for each conviction]1 appended to an application shall comply with the requirements of N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.

     1[c. For any person who may be eligible for an expungement pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the Superior Court in the county in which the most recent conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense was adjudged shall, within 30 days of the person filing the application, notify relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies pursuant to subsection d. of this section.]1 

     1[d.(1) For any person who may be eligible after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and who has filed an expungement application, the court shall provide information to accompany the notice to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, which shall include the information required by N.J.S.2C:52-7 for each conviction eligible to be expunged, to relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, as set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-10, within 30 days of the filing of the expungement application.

     (2)   Upon receipt of the information from the courts pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, and the county prosecutor of any county in which the person was adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person shall, within 30 days, notify the Administrative Office of the Courts of any inaccurate or incomplete data contained in the information provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts or of any other basis for ineligibility under this section.

     (3)   Unless the relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, in response to the information received from the Administrative Office of the Courts, provide information about any inaccurate or incomplete data, or any other basis for ineligibility, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall promptly provide notice of the person's eligibility and the Superior Court shall issue an order listing the conviction or convictions to be expunged.]1

     1c.1 Notwithstanding the provisions of the five-year time requirement, an application may be filed and presented to the Superior Court in the county in which the most recent conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense was adjudged, 1[which contains a separate,] with a1 duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 1[for each conviction sought to be expunged,]1 and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, when the court finds:

     (1)   the fine is satisfied but less than five years have expired from the date of satisfaction, and the five-year time requirement is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine; or

     (2)   at least three but less than five years have expired from the date of the most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and

     the person has not been otherwise convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the most recent conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that 1[expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense or offenses, and the applicant's character and conduct since the conviction or convictions] compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement.  The prosecutor may object pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-241.

     In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person's age at the time of the offense or offenses, the person's financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person's ability to pay.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.2)

 

     4.    N.J.S.2C:52-6 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-6.     Arrests not resulting in conviction.

     a.     When a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and proceedings against the person were dismissed, the person was acquitted, or the person was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, the Superior Court shall, at the time of dismissal, acquittal, or discharge, or, in any case set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, [upon receipt of an application from the person,] order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge.

     (1)   If proceedings took place in municipal court, the municipal court shall [provide the person, upon request, with appropriate documentation to] transmit to the Superior Court [to] 1[a request to expunge]1 [expungement] 1the necessary documentation1 pursuant to procedures developed by the Administrative 1[Office] Director1 of the Courts.  Upon receipt of the documentation, the Superior Court shall enter an ex parte order expunging all records and information relating to the person's arrest or charge.

     (2)   The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this subsection and no fee shall be charged to the person making such application.

     (3)   An expungement under this subsection shall not be ordered where the dismissal, acquittal, or discharge resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges.  This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.

     (4)   The Superior Court shall forward a copy of the expungement order to the appropriate court and to the 1county1 prosecutor.  The 1county1 prosecutor shall promptly distribute copies of the expungement order to appropriate law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions who have custody and control of the records specified in the order so that they may comply with the requirements of N.J.S.2C:52-15. 

     (5)   An expungement related to a dismissal, acquittal, or discharge ordered pursuant to this subsection shall not bar any future expungement.

     (6)   Where a dismissal of an offense is based on an eligible servicemember's successful participation in a Veterans Diversion Program pursuant to P.L.2017, c.42 (C.2C:43-23 et al.), the county prosecutor, on behalf of the eligible servicemember, may move before the court for the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge, and the diversion at the time of dismissal pursuant to this section.

     b.    When a person did not apply or a prosecutor did not move on behalf of an eligible servicemember for an expungement of an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the person may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged. No fee shall be charged to the person for applying for an expungement of an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction pursuant to this subsection.

     c.     (1)  Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1, or conditional dismissal pursuant to P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.), shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until six months after the entry of the order of dismissal.

     (2)   A servicemember who has successfully participated in a Veterans Diversion Program pursuant to P.L.2017, c.42 (C.2C:43-23 et al.) may apply for expungement pursuant to this section at any time following the order of dismissal if an expungement was not granted at the time of dismissal.

     d.    Any person who has been arrested or held to answer for a crime shall be barred from the relief provided in this section where the dismissal, discharge, or acquittal resulted from a determination
that the person was insane or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime charged.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.42, s.7)

 

     5.    N.J.S.2C:52-8 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-8.     Statements to accompany petition.  There shall be attached to a petition for expungement:

     a.     A statement with the affidavit or verification that there are no disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons or criminal charges pending against the petitioner at the time of filing of the petition for expungement.

     b.    In those instances where the petitioner is seeking the expungement of a criminal conviction [, or the expungement of convictions] pursuant to [N.J.S.2C:52-3 for multiple disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, all of which were entered the same day, or which were interdependent or closely related in circumstances and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time] N.J.S.2C:52-2, a statement with affidavit or verification that he has never been granted expungement, sealing or similar relief regarding a criminal conviction [or convictions for multiple disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, all of which were entered the same day, or which were interdependent or closely related in circumstances and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time] by any court in this State or other state or by any Federal court. "Sealing" refers to the relief previously granted pursuant to P.L.1973, c.191 (C.2A:85-15 et seq.).

     c.     In those instances where a person has received a dismissal of a criminal charge because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or any other diversion program, a statement with affidavit or verification setting forth the nature of the original charge, the court of disposition and date of disposition.

     d.    A statement as to whether the petitioner has legally changed their name, the date of judgment of name change, and the previous legal name.  1The petitioner shall provide a copy of the order for name change.1

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.4)

 

     6.    N.J.S.2C:52-14 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-14.  A petition for expungement filed pursuant to this chapter shall be denied when:

     a.     Any statutory prerequisite, including any provision of this chapter, is not fulfilled or there is any other statutory basis for denying relief.

     b.    The need for the availability of the records outweighs the desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities as otherwise provided in this chapter.  An application may be denied under this subsection only following objection of a party given notice pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-10 and the burden of asserting such grounds shall be on the objector [, except that in regard to expungement sought for third or fourth degree drug offenses pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2, the court shall consider whether this factor applies regardless of whether any party objects on this basis] 1, except that in regard to expungement sought for third or fourth degree drug offenses pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2, the court shall consider whether this factor applies regardless of whether any party objects on this basis1.

     c.     In connection with a petition under N.J.S.2C:52-6, the acquittal, discharge or dismissal of charges resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges.  This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.

     d.    The arrest or conviction sought to be expunged is, at the time of hearing, the subject matter of civil litigation between the petitioner or his legal representative and the State, any governmental entity thereof or any State agency and the representatives or employees of any such body.

     e.     [A person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged regardless of the lapse of time between the prior expungement, or sealing under prior law, and the present petition. This provision shall not apply:

     (1)   When the person is seeking the expungement of a municipal ordinance violation or,

     (2)   When the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-6.]  1[(Deleted by amendment, P.L.    c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)]1

     1A person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged regardless of the lapse of time between the prior expungement, or sealing under prior law, and the present petition. This provision shall not apply:

     (1)   When the person is seeking the expungement of a municipal ordinance violation or,

     (2)   When the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-6.1

     f.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2017, c.244)

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.5)

 

     7.    N.J.S.2C:52-15 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:52-15.   a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, if an order of expungement of records of arrest or conviction under this chapter is granted by the court, all the records specified in said order shall be removed from the files of the agencies which have been noticed of the pendency of petitioner's motion and which are, by the provisions of this chapter, entitled to notice, and shall be placed in the control of a person who has been designated by the head of each such agency which, at the time of the hearing, possesses said records.  That designated person shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, ensure that such records or the information contained therein are not released for any reason and are not utilized or referred to for any purpose.  In response to requests for information or records of the person who was arrested or convicted, all noticed officers, departments and agencies shall reply, with respect to the arrest, conviction or related proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record information.

     b.    Records of the Probation Division of the Superior Court related to restitution, a fine, or other court-ordered financial assessment that remains due at the time the court grants an expungement [may be retained as confidential, restricted-access records in the Judiciary's automated system to facilitate the collection and distribution of any outstanding assessments by the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) as ordered by the court.  The Administrative Director of the Courts shall ensure that such records are not released to the public.  Such records shall be removed from the Judiciary's automated system upon satisfaction of court-ordered financial assessments or by order of the court] shall be transferred to the New Jersey Department of Treasury for the collection and disbursement of future payments and satisfaction of judgments.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.6)

 

     8.    Section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1) is amended to read as follows:

     8.    1[a.]1 Notwithstanding any provision in this act to the contrary, expunged records may be used by the [comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.)] Treasurer, State of New Jersey to collect restitution, fines and other court-ordered financial assessments that remain due at the time an expungement is granted by the court.  Information regarding the nature of such financial assessments or their derivation from expunged criminal convictions shall not be disclosed to the public.  Any record of a civil judgment for the unpaid portion of court-ordered financial obligations that may be docketed after the court has granted an expungement of the underlying criminal conviction shall be entered in the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey. The State Treasurer shall thereafter administer such judgments [in cooperation with the comprehensive enforcement program] without disclosure of any information related to the underlying criminal nature of the assessments.

     1[b.  The court, after providing appropriate due process, may nullify an expungement granted to a person pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:52-2 if the person willfully fails to comply with an established payment plan or otherwise cooperate with the comprehensive enforcement program to facilitate the collection of any outstanding restitution, fines, and other court-ordered assessments, provided that prior to nullifying the expungement the person shall be afforded an opportunity to comply with or restructure the payment plan, or otherwise cooperate to facilitate the collection of outstanding restitution, fines, and other court-ordered assessments.  In the event of nullification, the court may restore the previous expungement granted if the person complies with the payment plan or otherwise cooperates to facilitate the collection of any outstanding restitution, fines, and other court-ordered assessments.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1

(cf: P.L.2017, c.244, s.8)

 

     19.   (New section)  "Clean slate" expungement. In all cases, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section if the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State.

     The person, if eligible, may present the expungement application after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his most recent conviction or adjudication, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.  The term "fine" as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. The person shall submit the expungement application to the Superior Court in the county of the conviction for the most recent crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense was adjudged, including a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 praying that the conviction or convictions, and all records and information pertaining thereto, be expunged.  The petition appended to an application shall comply with the requirements set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.

     Notwithstanding the provisions concerning the 10 year time requirement, if a fine which is currently subject to collection under the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) is not yet satisfied due to reasons other than willful noncompliance, but the time requirement of 10 years is otherwise satisfied, the person may submit the expungement application and the court may grant an expungement, provided, however, that if expungement is granted under this subsection, the court shall provide for the entry of civil judgment in the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey and transfer collection and disbursement responsibility to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey for the outstanding amount in accordance with section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1).1

 

     110.  (New section)  a.  For any person who may be eligible for an expungement pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq., the Superior Court in the county in which the most recent conviction was adjudged shall, within 30 days of the person filing the application, notify relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

     b.    (1)  For any person who may be eligible after the effective date of P.L.  , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and who has filed an expungement application, the court shall provide information to accompany the notice to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, which shall include the information required by N.J.S.2C:52-7 for each conviction eligible to be expunged, to relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, as set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-10.

     (2)   Upon receipt of the information from the courts pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, and the county prosecutor of any county in which the person was adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person shall, within 30 days, review and confirm the information against the Criminal Case History and notify the court of any inaccurate or incomplete data contained in the information or of any other basis for ineligibility under this section.

     (3)   Unless the relevant law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, in response to the information received from the court provide information about any inaccurate or incomplete data, or any other basis for ineligibility, the Superior Court hearing the matter shall issue an order listing the conviction or convictions to be expunged.1

 

     111.  N.J.S.22A:2-25 is amended to read as follows:

     22A:2-25.   Law Division filing fees

     Upon the filing, entering or docketing with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in the various counties of the herein-mentioned papers or documents by either party to any action or proceeding in the Law Division of the Superior Court, other than a civil action in which a summons or writ must be issued, he shall pay the deputy clerk of the court the following fees:

Entering of complaint or first paper of any  action or proceeding ... .......................................................$ 9.00

Filing complaint....................................................................................................................................$ 3.00

Filing answer or appearance.................................................................................................................$ 6.00

Filing any other pleading, any amended pleading or any amendment to a pleading .................................$ 3.00

Filing and entering each order or judgment of  court, including order to show cause...............................$ 6.00

Filing and entering a voluntary dismissal, either by stipulation or order of court.......................................$ 7.50

Filing notice of appeal .........................................................................................................................$15.00

Filing proceedings or papers on appeal ...............................................................................................$ 6.00

1[Filing first paper on petition for expungement .......................................................................................$22.50 ]1

Filing any other paper or document not herein stated ............................................................................$ 4.50

Signing and sealing habeas corpus ........................................................................................................$ 7.50

Signing and issuing subpena...................................................................................................................$ 1.50

(cf: P.L.1985, c. 422, s. 1)1

 

     1[9.] 12.1   N.J.S.2C:52-29 is repealed.

 

     1[10.] 13.1  This act shall take effect 1[immediately] on the 90th day following enactment except section 11 eliminating the fee for expungement shall take effect immediately1

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