Defendant petitions to expunge a disorderly persons conviction. On December 26, 1968, defendant was found guilty of a disorderly persons offense in Little Falls, Passaic County. On July 9, 1979, he was acquitted on an indictment tried in Hudson County. Simultaneously with the filing of this petition in Passaic County, defendant filed a petition in Hudson County to expunge the record of the criminal proceedings. See N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3; 2C:52-5. Neither petition contains any reference to the proceedings in the other county. Is this petition deficient because it fails to reveal defendant's subsequent acquittal?
N.J.S.A. 2C:52-7, provides:
Every petition for expungement filed pursuant to this chapter shall be verified and include:
a. Petitioner's date of birth.
b. Petitioner's date of arrest.
c. The statute or statutes and offense or offenses for which petitioner was arrested and of which petitioner was convicted.
d. The original indictment, summons or complaint number.
e. Petitioner's date of conviction, or date of disposition of the matter if no conviction resulted.
f. The court's disposition of the matter and the punishment imposed, if any.
Defendant contends that subparagraph c requires the recitation only of charges which resulted in conviction. Subparagraph c cannot be interpreted in that fashion. The Legislature is presumed to know the rules of grammar, United States v. Goldenberg , 168 U.S. 95, 102, 18 S. Ct. 3, 4, 42 L. Ed. 394 (1897).
The subsection contained two relative clauses used adjectively: "for which petitioner was arrested" and "of which petitioner was convicted." These clauses modify the topic "statute or statutes and offense or offenses." The topic of subparagraph c is not, as defendant urges "statute or statutes and offense or offenses for which petitioner was arrested." Because the two relative clauses ...