Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-19, New Jersey courts are unable to release expunged records to anyone — even the petitioner — absent a court order. Moreover, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-19 requires the person requesting expunged records to demonstrate “good cause” and a “compelling need” for the records. They also need to specify the person who the records are to be released to and the reason for their release. Thus, obtaining a copy of records that have been expunged requires more than a simple phone call to the court.
Perhaps the easiest way to obtain proof of your expungement is to contact the attorney that represented you during your expungement. Most attorneys in New Jersey keep case files for at least 7 years, and some will retain them even longer. If you were not represented by an attorney or if your attorney no longer has your records, however, then you will need to request them directly from the court.
To request a copy of your expunged records from the court — whether your Expungement Petition, the Expungement Order, or any other records — you will need to complete a form entitled Defendants Requesting Copies of Their Own Expungement Records. As can be seen, this form requires you to provide your basic information (name, address, date of birth, and social security number) as well as information relating to the expunged offense (indictment, accusation, and/or complaint number, if known).
Once you have completed this form, you will need to appear in person at the Superior Court, Criminal Division, in the county in which your expungement was granted. Be sure to bring at least one form of government-issued photo identification with you. If you do not have the appropriate identification, the court staff will not release the record to you. A small copying fee may apply.
The court staff will then review your request and will then ask a Superior Court Judge to sign an order authorizing the release of the expunged records. Your expunged records will not be released without a court order authorizing the release.
New Jersey Expungement Lawyers
If you have any questions about how to request a copy of your expunged records in New Jersey, or if you need assistance in obtaining your expunged records, contact the New Jersey expungement lawyers at Katherine O’Brien Law today. Although our office is located in Gloucester County, New Jersey, we handle expungement issues throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach us at 856-832-2482.