PART C. Court Case Expungement Procedures


Rule 790. Procedure for Obtaining Expungement in Court Cases; Expungement Order.

 (A)  PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT

   (1)  Except as provided in Rule 320 and 35 P.S. §  780-119, an individual who satisfies the requirements for expungement may request expungement by filing a petition with the clerk of the courts of the judicial district in which the charges were disposed.

   (2)  The petition shall set forth:

     (a)   the petitioner’s name and any aliases that the petitioner has used, address, date of birth, and social security number;

     (b)   the name and address of the judge of the court of common pleas who accepted the guilty plea or heard the case;

     (c)   the name and mailing address of the affiant as shown on the complaint, if available;

     (d)   the Philadelphia Municipal Court docket number or the court of common pleas docket number, whichever applies;

     (e)   the offense tracking number (OTN);

     (f)   the date on the complaint, or the date of arrest, and, if available, the criminal justice agency that made the arrest;

     (g)   the specific charges, as they appear on the charging document, to be expunged;

     (h)   the disposition and, if the sentence includes a fine, costs, or restitution, whether the amount due has been paid;

     (i)   the reason(s) for expungement; and

     (j)   a verification by the petitioner that facts set forth in the petition are true and correct to the best of the petitioner’s personal knowledge or information and belief. The verification may be by a sworn affidavit or by an unsworn written statement that the facts are verified subject to the penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities under the Crimes Code §  4904, 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904.

 Additional information shall not be required by local rule or practice.

   (3)  Unless the attorney for the Commonwealth agrees to waive this requirement, a current copy of the petitioner’s Pennsylvania State Police criminal history report shall be attached to the petition. The copy shall be obtained from the Pennsylvania State Police within 60 days before filing the petition. Absent a waiver by the attorney for the Commonwealth, the judge shall not rule upon the petition until the Pennsylvania State Police criminal history report is filed.

   (4)  A copy of the petition shall be served on the attorney for the Commonwealth concurrently with filing.

 (B)  OBJECTIONS; HEARING

   (1)  Within 60 days after service of the petition, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall file a consent or objection to the petition or take no action. The attorney for the Commonwealth’s consent or objection shall be filed with the clerk of courts, and copies shall be served on the petitioner’s attorney, or the petitioner if unrepresented.

   (2)  Upon receipt of the attorney for the Commonwealth’s response, or no later than 14 days after the expiration of the 60-day period in paragraph (B)(1), the judge shall grant or deny the petition or shall schedule a hearing.

   (3)  At the hearing, if any, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard. Following the hearing, the judge promptly shall enter an order granting or denying the petition.

   (4)  If the judge grants the petition for expungement, the judge shall enter an order directing expungement.

     (a)   The order shall contain the information required in paragraph (C).

     (b)   Except when the attorney for the Commonwealth has filed a consent to the petition pursuant to paragraph (B)(1), the order shall be stayed for 30 days pending an appeal. If a timely notice of appeal is filed, the expungement order is stayed pending the disposition of the appeal and further order of court.

   (5)  If the judge denies the petition for expungement, the judge shall enter an order denying the petition and stating the reasons for the denial.

 (C)  ORDER

   (1)  Every order for expungement shall include:

     (a)   the petitioner’s name and any aliases that the petitioner has used, address, date of birth, and social security number;

     (b)   the name and address of the judge of the court of common pleas who accepted the guilty plea or heard the case;

     (c)   the name and mailing address of the affiant as shown on the complaint, if available;

     (d)   the Philadelphia Municipal Court docket number or the court of common pleas docket number, whichever applies;

     (e)   the offense tracking number (OTN);

     (f)   the date on the complaint, or the date of arrest, and, if available, the criminal justice agency that made the arrest;

     (g)   the specific charges, as they appear on the charging document, to be expunged;

     (h)   the disposition and, if the sentence includes a fine, costs, or restitution, whether the amount due has been paid;

     (i)   the reason(s) for expungement; and

     (j)   the criminal justice agencies upon which certified copies of the order shall be served.

 Additional information shall not be required by local rule or practice.

   (2)  The clerk of courts shall serve a certified copy of the Order to each criminal justice agency identified in the court’s Order.

Comment

   This rule, adopted in 2010, provides the procedures for requesting and ordering expungement in court cases. Any case in which a summary offense is filed with a misdemeanor, felony, or murder of the first, second, or third degree is a court case (see Rule 103). The petition for expungement of the summary offense in such a case would proceed under this rule.

   See also Rule 320 for the procedures for expungement following the successful completion of an ARD program in a court case, Rule 490 for summary case expungement procedures, and 35 P.S. §  780-119 for expungement procedures under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act.

   This rule sets forth the only information that must be included in every expungement petition and order.

   Paragraph (A)(3) requires the petitioner to attach a copy of his or her criminal history report to the petition. The attorney for the Commonwealth may waive the requirement that the criminal history report be attached to the petition. The Commonwealth’s agreement to the waiver may be made orally or in writing, or averred in the petition.

   An order for expungement under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. §  780-119, also must include the information in paragraph (C).

   A form petition and form order of expungement has been created by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, in consultation with the Committee, and is available at the following website: http://www.pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public.

   ‘‘Petition’’ as used in this rule is a ‘‘motion’’ for purposes of Rules 575, 576, and 577.

   The ‘‘reason for expungement’’ in paragraph (A)(2)(i) and (C)(1)(i) means, for example, acquittal or age.

   For the procedures for filing and service of petitions, see Rule 576.

   For the procedures for filing and service of orders, see Rule 114.

   When a summons instead of an arrest warrant is issued pursuant to Rule 519, the date of the summons constitutes the ‘‘date of arrest’’ for purposes of paragraph (A)(2)(f).

   For purposes of this rule, ‘‘criminal justice agency’’ includes police departments, county detectives, and other law enforcement agencies. See also 18 Pa.C.S. §  9102.

   Concerning standing, see In Re Administrative Order No. 1-MD-2003, 936 A.2d 1 (Pa. 2007); Commonwealth v. J.H., 759 A.2d 1269 (Pa. 2000).

   Official Note

   Adopted September 22, 2010, effective in 90 days; amended November 9, 2016, effective November 14, 2016.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the September 22, 2010 promulgation of new Rule 790 providing the procedures for expungements in court cases published with the Court’s Order at 40 Pa.B. 5740 (October 9, 2010).

   Final Report explaining the November 9, 2016 amendment regarding the stay of expungement when the Commonwealth has consented and petition and order forms published with the Court’s Order at 46 Pa.B. 7442 (November 26, 2016).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 790 amended November 9, 2016, effective November 14, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 7439. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (372688) to (372690).



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