Changes to Marijuana-Related Expungements (Part 15)

by | Mar 3, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Law, Drug Crime, Marijuana, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

The amendments to N.J.S.A 2C:52-6 continue:

(2) A court order vacating an expungement that is granted to a person pursuant to this subsection may be issued upon an action filed by a county prosecutor with the court that granted the expungement, if filed no later than 30 days after the expungement order was issued, with notice to the person, and a hearing is scheduled at which the county prosecutor shows 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.

d. 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 expungement. The immunity shall be in addition to and not in limitation of any other immunity provided by law.

6. (New section) a. (1)  No later than three months after the effective date of this section, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop and maintain a system for sealing records from the public, upon order of a court, pertaining to offenses or delinquent acts involving marijuana or hashish as described in this section.  Once the system is developed, unless otherwise provided by law, a court shall order the nondisclosure to the public of the records of the court and probation services, and records of law enforcement agencies with respect to any arrest, conviction, or adjudication of delinquency, and any proceedings related thereto, upon disposition of any case occurring on or after the development of the system for sealing records that solely includes the following convictions or adjudications of delinquency:

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;

This section becomes effective on June 15, 2020. Therefore, the Legislature is requiring the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to implement the new system for sealing marijuana-related records by September 15, 2020. There may be litigation surrounding the separation of powers issue between the Legislative and Judicial branches of our state government if the AOC fails to get the proposed system in place by September 15. The AOC falls under the Judicial branch of government.