AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES AFFECTING THE NORTH CAROLINA COURT SYSTEM.
Senate amendments to the 4th edition make the following changes.
Postpones the effective date of the temporary suspension for expunctions of dismissed charges, not guilty verdicts, and findings of not responsible by operation of law under GS 15A-146(a4), and related directives to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), from June 15, 2022, to August 1, 2022. Maintains the sunset date of August 1, 2023.
Adds to the directive to AOC to convene a group of stakeholders to examine and make recommendations to resolve the issues with the implementation of automatic expunctions under GS 15A-146(a4) as follows. Requires inclusion of representatives of the State Bureau of Investigation, clerks (in addition to the previously included court personnel), and the Division of Motor Vehicles. Adds new authority to allow the group to consider and recommend solutions for the issues related to expunction records that do not require total destruction of all court files and that would allow access to these particular expunction records by additional parties. Requires AOC to include any action it has taken to make files confidential with its report to the specified NCGA committee, due by March 1, 2023.
Authorizes AOC to make files related to automatic expunction under GS 15A-146(a4) confidential from public record while the temporary suspension is in place if AOC and the stakeholder group determine an appropriate method to make the files confidential without destruction of court files, and while allowing access to necessary parties. Requires AOC to take such action on all files suspended from expunction under the act. Specifies that the act does not authorize expunction under GS 15A-146(a4) while the temporary suspension is in effect.
Adds a new requirement for AOC to expunge all dismissed charges, not guilty verdicts, and findings of not responsible that occurred during the period of suspension that are eligible for automatic expunction under GS 15A-146(a4) within 60 days of the first occurrence of either the repeal or expiration of the suspension.
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