Bill Summary for H 571 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Apr 5 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 571 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 5, 2017
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE AUTOMATIC EXPUNCTION OF A PERSON'S RECORD IF THE PERSON IS WRONGLY CONVICTED, INCARCERATED, AND EXONERATED.
Intro. by Hanes, Hardister, Dobson, Quick.

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Bill summary

Section 1 enacts GS 15A-149A to establish that, if any person is wrongly convicted and incarcerated, but later is discharged from prison as a result of a successful appeal, motion for appropriate relief, or writ of habeas corpus, the reviewing court that determined the person was wrongfully convicted and ordered the person be discharged from prison must also enter an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial as provided by the statute. Authorizes a person wrongly convicted and incarcerated, and discharged before December 1, 2017, to petition the reviewing court that determined the person was wrongfully convicted and ordered the person's discharge, for an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial. Directs the court to hold a hearing on the application and, upon finding that the person was wrongly convicted and incarcerated and later discharged, to enter the order.

Establishes that, if any person is wrongly convicted and incarcerated, but later is discharged from prison as a result of a determination under GS Chapter 15A, Article 92 (North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission), that the person is innocent, the three-judge panel that determined the person's innocence and entered the dismissal of the charges must also enter an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial as provided by the statute. Authorizes a person wrongly convicted and incarcerated, and discharged before December 1, 2017, to petition the three-judge panel that determined the person's innocence and entered the dismissal for an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial. Directs the court to hold a hearing on the application, and upon finding that the person was wrongly convicted and incarcerated and later discharged, to enter the order.

Requires the order of expunction to includean instruction that any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial must be expunged from the records of the court and direct all law enforcement agencies, the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, the Division of Motor Vehicles, or any other State or local government agencies identified by the petitioner as bearing record of the same to expunge their records of the entries. Directs that the clerk notify state and local agencies of the court's order as provided in GS 15A-150 (concerning notification requirements of the clerk for expunction of records). Provides that the expunction is to be automatic and the person is not required to file a petition for the expunction. Provides that the costs of expunging the records, as required under GS 15A-150, are not to be taxed against the petitioner.

Establishes that no person as to whom an order, pursuant to GS 15A-149A, has been entered into can be held thereafter under any provisionof any law to be guilty of perjury, or to be guilty of otherwise giving a false statement or response to any inquiry made for any purpose, by reason of the person's failure to recite or acknowledge any expunged entries concerning apprehension, charge, or trial.

Provides that any person discharged from prison prior to December 1, 2017, who may petition the court for an expunction under this statute, is entitled to services of counsel for the expunction proceeding regardless of financial status, and that any legal fee or court cost associated with the proceeding is waived. Directs a person who wants counsel to file with the clerk of court a written request for appointment of counsel. Directs the court to appoint counsel under rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services, no later than 10 days from the date of receipt of the request. Provides for reasonable compensation for private counsel appointed under this section, paid by the State.

The above provisions are effective December 1, 2017.

Section 2 appropriates $10,000 from the General Fund to the Judicial Department to be allocated to the Administrative Office of the Courts to assist with the cost of implementing this act. Effective July 1, 2017.

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