Amendments to the Expungement Statutes (Part 11)

by | Mar 30, 2018 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-18 is amended to read as follows:

2C:52-18. Information contained in expunged records may be supplied to the Violent Crimes Compensation Office, in conjunction with any claim which has been filed with said office.

a. 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.) 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.

b. The court, after providing appropriate due process, may nullify an expungement granted to a person pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 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.
Sub-section b is new. It attempts to reach a reasonable compromise between the State’s desire to collect fines owed and the emphasis on expanding expungement eligibility. It makes for an administrative nightmare in situations where expungement applicants are granted an expungement, have the expungement nullified for willful non-payment of fines, and then have the nullified expungement restored after belatedly paying the outstanding fines.