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Petition of Podias

November 2, 1995

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF ANTHONY PODIAS


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County.

Approved for Publication November 2, 1995.

Before Judges Stern and Newman.

PER CURIAM

This is an appeal from an order entered on April 4, 1995 denying a petition for expungement of disorderly persons (DP) convictions.

Petitioner was convicted of a DP offense in Jersey City and a DP offense in Irvington in 1984. He petitioned to expunge those DP convictions in 1994. However, after he was convicted of the DP offenses, he was charged with an indictable offense for which he was enrolled into a pretrial intervention program (PTI). *fn1 After successful completion of the PTI program, the record of that arrest and Disposition was expunged by order of December 18, 1987. Judge Martin L. Greenberg held that the PTI Disposition barred the subsequent petition to expunge the DP convictions in light of N.J.S.A. 2C:52-14f.

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-14f provides that there can be no expungement when

the person seeking the relief of expungement of a conviction for a disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, or criminal offense has prior to or subsequent to said conviction been granted the dismissal of criminal charges following completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

Defendant argues that N.J.S.A. 2C:52-14f poses no bar in this case because, by virtue of the PTI expungement, the prior matter resulting in supervisory treatment or diversion does not exist. He relies on N.J.S.A. 2C:52-27 which provides in pertinent part:

Effect of Expungement. Unless otherwise provided by law, if an order of expungement is granted, the arrest, conviction and any proceedings related thereto shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer any questions relating to their occurrence accordingly, except as follows:

a. The fact of an expungement, sealing or similar relief shall be disclosed as provided in section 2C:52-8b.

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-8b relates only to applications to expunge "criminal convictions." It provides that a petition for expungement shall include:

b. In those instances where the petitioner is seeking the expungement of a criminal conviction, a statement with affidavit or verification that he has never been granted expungement, sealing or similar relief regarding a criminal conviction by any court in this State or other state or by any Federal court. "Sealing" refers to the relief previously granted pursuant to P.L.1973, c.191 (C. 2A:85-15 et seq.).

[N.J.S.A. 2C:52-8b (emphasis added)].

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3 a person convicted of a DP offense "who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime ... or of another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses," may have the DP conviction or convictions expunged after five years from the date of conviction. The petition must be filed under N.J.S.A. ...


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