Changes to Marijuana-Related Expungements (Part 5)

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Law, Drug Crime, Marijuana, Monmouth County, Ocean County

Amendments to 2C:52-2 continued:

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 any court-ordered financial assessment, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.

The term “court-ordered financial assessment” as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, fee, penalty, restitution, and other form of financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction or convictions that are the subject of the application, 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 crime was adjudged, which includes a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 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 five-year time requirement, if, at the time of application,court-ordered financial assessment 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 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 the court shall enter a civil judgment for the unpaid portion of the court-ordered financial assessment in the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey and transfer collections and disbursement responsibility to the State Treasurer for the outstanding amount in accordance with section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1).  The Treasurer may specify, and the Administrative Office of the Courts shall collaborate with, the technical and informational standards required to effectuate the transfer of the collection and disbursement responsibilities. Notwithstanding any provision in this law or any other law to the contrary, the court shall have sole discretion to amend the judgment.

The term “fine” was repeatedly changed to “court-ordered financial assessment.” This removed ambiguity regarding whether “fees and penalties” were included. The underlined five-year period was reduced from six years. The requirement for separate petitions to be filed in the county of each conviction was also removed. Provisions were also added to streamline the collection of outstanding financial assessments.