New Jersey Expungement Statutes
N.J.S. 2C:52-5.4 Automated “clean slate” process
a. (1) The State shall develop and implement an automated process, based, to the greatest extent practicable, on the recommendations of the task force established pursuant to subsection b. of this section, by which all convictions, and all records and information pertaining thereto, shall be rendered inaccessible to the public, through sealing, expungement, or some equivalent process, for any person who has been convicted of one or more crimes, one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, or a combination of one or more crimes and offenses under the laws of this State, unless the person has a conviction for a crime which is not subject to expungement pursuant to subsection b. or c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2, upon the expiration of a period of ten years from the date of the person’s 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 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 subject to being rendered inaccessible to the public, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
(2) The automated process shall be designed to restore a person’s convictions and other information contained in the person’s criminal history record information files if the person is subsequently convicted of a crime, for which the conviction is not subject to expungement pursuant to subsection b. or c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2. A prosecutor may submit the restored criminal history record information to the court for consideration at sentencing for the subsequent conviction.
(3) Upon establishment of the automated process pursuant to this subsection, any pending “clean slate” expungement petitions filed pursuant to section 7 of P.L.2019, c.269 (C.2C:52- 5.3) shall be rendered moot and shall be withdrawn or dismissed in accordance with procedures established by the Supreme Court.
b. (1) (a) There is established a task force for the purpose of examining, evaluating, and making recommendations regarding the development and implementation of the automated process described in subsection a. of this section, by which all of a person’s convictions, and all records and information pertaining thereto, shall be rendered inaccessible to the public.
(b) The task force shall consist of at least the following members:
The Chief Technology Officer of the Office of Information Technology, or a designee or designees;
The Attorney General, or a designee or designees, one or more of whom may be members of the State Bureau of Identification and the Information Technology Bureau in the Division of State Police designated by the Superintendent of the State Police;
The Administrative Director of the Courts, or a designee or designees;
The Director of Information Technology for the Administrative Office of the Courts, or a designee or designees;
The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, or a designee or designees;
The President of the New Jersey County Jail Wardens Association, or a designee or designees;
The President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, or a designee or designees;
Two members of the Senate, who shall each be of different political parties, appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Senate President;
Two members of the General Assembly, who shall each be of different political parties, appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly;
Two members of academic institutions or non-profit entities appointed by the Governor who each have a background in, or special knowledge of, computer technology, database management, or recordkeeping processes; and
Four members of the public appointed by the Governor who each have a background in, or special knowledge of, the technological, criminal record or legal processes of expungement, or criminal history recordkeeping, of which two of whom shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the Senate President and two of whom shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly.
(c) Appointments to the task force shall be made within 30 days of the effective date of this section. Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.
(d) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the task force within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the task force for its purposes.
(e) The task force shall organize as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days following the appointment of its members. The task force shall choose a chairperson from among its members and shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.
(f) The Department of Law and Public Safety shall provide such stenographic, clerical, and other administrative assistants, and such professional staff as the task force requires to carry out its work. The task force shall also be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.
(2) It shall be the duty of the task force to identify, analyze and recommend solutions to any technological, fiscal, resource, and practical issues that may arise in the development and implementation of the automated process described in subsection a. of this section. In carrying out these responsibilities, the task force shall to the extent feasible:
(a) examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the design and implementation of automated processes in Pennsylvania and California and other jurisdictions that have implemented similar programs, and consult with officials in those jurisdictions concerning their processes and any technological, fiscal, resource, and practical issues that they may have encountered, contemplated, or addressed in developing and implementing those systems; and
(b) consult with non-profit computer programming organizations such as “Code for America” with expertise in assisting in the implementation of automated processes and expungement processing generally, to the extent those organizations make themselves available for this purpose; and
(c) identify the necessary systemic changes, required technology, cost estimates, and possible sources of funding for developing and implementing the automated process described in subsection a. of this section.
(3) (a) The task force shall issue a final report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), no later than 180 days after the task force organizes.
(b) The task force shall expire 30 days after the issuance of its report.
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