- N.J.S.A. 2C:52-10 is amended to read as follows:
2C:52-10. a. Until the date that the e-filing system is established by the Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to section 11 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a copy of each petition, together with a copy of all supporting documents, shall be served pursuant to the rules of court upon the Superintendent of State Police; the Attorney General; the county prosecutor of the county wherein the court is located; the chief of police or other executive head of the police department of the municipality wherein the offense was committed; the chief law enforcement officer of any other law enforcement agency of this State which participated in the arrest of the individual; the superintendent or warden of any institution in which the petitioner was confined; and, if a disposition was made by a municipal court, upon the magistrate of that court. Service shall be made within 5 days from the date of the order setting the date for the hearing upon the matter.
b. On and after the date that the e-filing system is established pursuant to section 11 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a copy of each petition, together with a copy of all supporting documents, shall, upon their filing, be served electronically pursuant to the rules of court upon the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, the county prosecutor of the county wherein the court is located, and the county prosecutor of any county in which the petitioner was convicted, using the e-filing system.
11. (New section) a. (1) No later than twelve months after the effective date of this section, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop and maintain a system for petitioners to electronically file expungement applications pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq. The e-filing system shall be available Statewide and include electronic filing, electronic service of process, and electronic document management.
(2) The system shall, in accordance with N.J.S.2C:52-10, electronically notify and serve copies of the petition and all supporting documents upon the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, and each county prosecutor as described in that section.
(3) The system shall electronically compile a listing of all possibly relevant Judiciary records for an expungement petitioner and transmit this information to all parties served with copies of the petition and all supporting documents in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection.
An upside of the new electronic filing system is that it will save petitioners money on certified mailing fees. A potential downside is that with electronic storage there is a concern for the documents remaining confidential. When petitions were stored in paper format, there were a very limited number of people that would have access to them in secure facilities maintained by the courts and police. With electronic storage, hackers could potentially access the materials remotely.