6. 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:
(a) any number of offenses for, or delinquent acts which if committed by an adult would constitute, unlawful distribution of, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (12) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5, or a violation of that paragraph and a violation of subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1987, 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;
(b) any number of offenses for, or delinquent acts which if committed by an adult would constitute, obtaining, possessing, using, being under the influence of, or failing to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection a., or subsection b., or subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:35-10; or
(c) any number of offenses for, or delinquent acts which if committed by an adult would constitute, a violation involving marijuana or hashish as described in subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph and using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia with that marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.2C:36-2.
(2) If the disposition of the case includes a 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.), then at the time of issuing the sealing order, the court shall also enter a civil judgment for the unpaid portion of the court-ordered financial assessmentin 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 term “court-ordered financial assessment” as used herein 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 sealing order, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. 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.
b. Notice of the sealing order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be provided to:
(1) The Attorney General, county prosecutor, or municipal prosecutor handling the case; and
(2) The State Police and any local law enforcement agency having custody of the files and records.
c. Upon the entry of a sealing order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the proceedings in the case shall be sealed and all index references shall be marked “not available” or “no record.” Law enforcement agencies shall reply to requests for information or records of a person subject to a sealing order that there is no information or records. The person may also reply to any inquiry that there is no information or record, except that information subject to a sealing order shall be revealed by that person if seeking employment within the judicial branch or with a law enforcement or corrections agency, and the information shall continue to provide a disability to the extent provided by law.
d. Records subject to a sealing order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section may be maintained for purposes of prior offender status, identification, and law enforcement purposes, provided that the records shall not be considered whenever the Pretrial Services Program established by the Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2014, c.31 (C.2A:162-25) conducts a risk assessment on an eligible defendant for the purpose of making recommendations to the court concerning an appropriate pretrial release decision in accordance with sections 1 through 11 of P.L.2014, c.31 (C.2A:162-15 et seq.) or used for sentencing purposes in any other case.
N.J.S.A. 2C:52-10. This page has been updated in accordance with the revisions to New Jersey’s expungement laws, which took effect on June 15, 2020.