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609A.03 Petition to expunge criminal records.

Subdivision 1. Petition; filing fee. An individual who is the subject of a criminal record who is seeking the expungement of the record shall file a petition under this section and pay a filing fee in the amount required under section 357.021, subdivision 2, clause (1). The filing fee may be waived in cases of indigency and shall be waived in the cases described in section 609A.02, subdivision 3.

Subd. 2. Contents of petition. A petition for expungement shall be signed under oath by the petitioner and shall state the following:

(1) the petitioner's full name and all other legal names or aliases by which the petitioner has been known at any time;

(2) the petitioner's date of birth;

(3) all of the petitioner's addresses from the date of the offense or alleged offense in connection with which an expungement order is sought, to the date of the petition;

(4) why expungement is sought, if it is for employment or licensure purposes, the statutory or other legal authority under which it is sought, and why it should be granted;

(5) the details of the offense or arrest for which expungement is sought, including date and jurisdiction of the occurrence, court file number, and date of conviction or of dismissal;

(6) in the case of a conviction, what steps the petitioner has taken since the time of the offense toward personal rehabilitation, including treatment, work, or other personal history that demonstrates rehabilitation;

(7) petitioner's criminal conviction record indicating all convictions for misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or felonies in this state, and for all comparable convictions in any other state, federal court, or foreign country, whether the convictions occurred before or after the arrest or conviction for which expungement is sought;

(8) petitioner's criminal charges record indicating all prior and pending criminal charges against the petitioner in this state or another jurisdiction, including all criminal charges that have been continued for dismissal or stayed for adjudication, or have been the subject of pretrial diversion; and

(9) all prior requests by the petitioner, whether for the present offense or for any other offenses, in this state or any other state or federal court, for pardon, return of arrest records, or expungement or sealing of a criminal record, whether granted or not, and all stays of adjudication or imposition of sentence involving the petitioner.

Subd. 3. Service of petition. The petition for expungement and a proposed expungement order shall be served by mail on the state and local government agencies and jurisdictions whose records would be affected by the proposed order. Service shall also be made by mail on the attorney for each agency and jurisdiction.

Subd. 4. Hearing. A hearing on the petition shall be held no sooner than 60 days after service of the petition.

Subd. 5. Nature of remedy; standard; firearms restriction. (a) Expungement of a criminal record is an extraordinary remedy to be granted only upon clear and convincing evidence that it would yield a benefit to the petitioner commensurate with the disadvantages to the public and public safety of:

(1) sealing the record; and

(2) burdening the court and public authorities to issue, enforce, and monitor an expungement order.

(b) If the petitioner is petitioning for the sealing of a criminal record under section 609A.02, subdivision 3, the court shall grant the petition to seal the record unless the agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the interests of the public and public safety outweigh the disadvantages to the petitioner of not sealing the record.

(c) If the court issues an expungement order it may require that the criminal record shall be sealed, the existence of the record shall not be revealed, and the record should not be opened except as required under subdivision 7. Records shall not be destroyed or returned.

(d) An order expunging the record of a conviction for a crime of violence as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 5, must provide that the person is not entitled to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm until ten years have elapsed since the order was entered and during that time the person was not convicted of any other crime of violence. Any person whose record of conviction is expunged under this section and who thereafter receives a relief of disability under United States Code, title 18, section 925, is not subject to the restriction in this paragraph.

Subd. 6. Order concerning controlled substance offenses. If the court orders the sealing of the record of proceedings under section 152.18, the effect of the order shall be to restore the person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status the person occupied before the arrest, indictment, or information. The person shall not be held guilty of perjury or otherwise of giving a false statement if the person fails to acknowledge the arrest, indictment, information, or trial in response to any inquiry made for any purpose.

Subd. 7. Limitations of order. (a) Upon issuance of an expungement order related to a charge supported by probable cause, the DNA samples and DNA records held by the bureau of criminal apprehension shall not be sealed, returned, or destroyed.

(b) Notwithstanding the issuance of an expungement order:

(1) an expunged record may be opened for purposes of a criminal investigation, prosecution, or sentencing, upon an ex parte court order; and

(2) an expunged record of a conviction may be opened for purposes of evaluating a prospective employee in a criminal justice agency without a court order.

Upon request by law enforcement, prosecution, or corrections authorities, an agency or jurisdiction subject to an expungement order shall inform the requester of the existence of a sealed record and of the right to obtain access to it as provided by this paragraph. For purposes of this section, a "criminal justice agency" means courts or a government agency that performs the administration of criminal justice under statutory authority.

Subd. 8. Stay of order; appeal. An expungement order shall be automatically stayed for 60 days after filing of the order and, if the order is appealed, during the appeal period. A person or an agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected by the order may appeal the order within 60 days of service of notice of filing of the order. An agency or jurisdiction or officials or employees thereof need not file a cost bond or supersedeas bond in order to further stay the proceedings or file an appeal.

Subd. 9. Distribution of expungement orders. If an expungement order is issued, the court administrator shall send a copy of it to each agency and jurisdiction whose records are affected by the terms of the order.

HIST: 1996 c 408 art 9 s 9; 1998 c 367 art 11 s 19