SENATE BILL NO. 52
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT OF TRUANCY RECORDS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section 2735 as follows:
“§2735. Special procedure for expungement of Truancy Records
(a) At the time that a case is closed because there has been compliance with all court orders issued pursuant to this subchapter, the following shall be automatically expunged: (1) any records of charges against or the conviction of a parent or guardian for failure to send; or (2) any records of the charges or adjudication of truancy against a student.
(b) In any case which was closed because there was compliance with all court orders and the automatic expungement required by subsection (a) did not occur either due to error or omission on the part of the Court or the prosecuting agency or because such expungement was not authorized at the time the case was closed, the Justice of the Peace court shall grant such expungement upon motion of a parent, guardian or student. There shall be no filing fee for such applications.
(c) Following the closing of a case for any reason other than compliance with all court orders, the records listed in subsection (a) of this section may only be expunged upon application to the Justice of the Peace Court. The Justice of the Peace Court may, in its discretion, grant or deny the request or make the granting of such request subject to such reasonable terms and conditions as may be appropriate. The civil filing fee shall apply to such applications.
(d) Upon either the automatic expungement of records or the issuance of an order expunging truancy records:
(1) The State Bureau of Identification shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the expunged records or the information contained therein is not released for any reason except as specified in this section. In response to requests from persons other than law-enforcement officers for such information or records, the State Bureau of Identification, law-enforcement officers or Truancy Court officials in the course of another truancy case involving the same parent or child and departments shall reply that there is no record.
(2) Except for the disclosure to law-enforcement officers acting in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity or to Truancy Court officials in the course of another truancy case involving the same parent or child, it shall be unlawful for any person having or acquiring access to an expunged truancy record to open or review it or to disclose to another person any information from it without a Court order.
(3) Disclosure to law-enforcement officers shall be permitted only for the purpose of investigating particular criminal activity in which the person, whose records have been expunged, is considered a suspect and the crime being investigated is a felony or, with regard to records of parents or guardians for failure to send, pursuant to an investigation of an employment application as an employee of a law-enforcement agency.
(4) Nothing herein shall require the destruction or deletion of records of the Department of Justice, DELJIS or court records, including electronic records. However, all court DELJIS and Department of Justice records relating to a charge or case which has been expunged shall be so handled as to ensure that any information contained therein shall not be disclosed to the public.
(5) An offense for which records have been expunged pursuant to this section shall not have to be disclosed by the person for any reason.
(6) Any person who violates subsection (d)(2) of this section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and shall be punished accordingly.”
Approved June 30, 2005