RI Expungement Blog

Discussing current issues involving the expungement of Rhode Island criminal records while providing insight and assistance those seeking expungement.

Second Circuit Rules that Federal Judges Cannot Expunge Criminal Convictions

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Federal District Court Judge's ruling expunging a woman's record.  In May 2015, a District Court Judge had granted a woman's petition to expunge a 2001 criminal record that had prevented the woman from holding down a job for years.

The Order was appealed to the Second Circuit which reversed the May 2015 decision.  In the opinion of the three Judge panel sitting for the Court of Appeals, "trial judges lack authority to erase valid criminal convictions."  The Court went further to say that the Court in 2015 "lacked jurisdiction to consider the woman's request 'because [the woman's] conviction was valid and the underlying criminal case had long since concluded."

In public comment's from the Woman's lawyer after the decision by the Second Circuit, they are considering petitioning the Second Circuit for rehearing or appealing the decision to the United States Supreme Court.  For full coverage on the August 2016 decision, follow this link to a comprehensive story in the Wall Street Journal here: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2016/08/11/court-federal-judges-lack-authority-to-erase-valid-convictions/

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