Friday, February 26, 2010

Supreme Court reviews expunction petition - WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL

by Jack Zemlicka

A petition filed by the State Bar of Wisconsin and reviewed by the Supreme Court on Feb. 24 would amend state law to give people who are charged, but never convicted of a criminal offense the chance to have their records expunged by a trial court judge.

After nearly six hours of presentations, the justices briefly debated the petition in open conference and elected to defer a decision until a later date.

Under current law, only those convicted, after a specified period of time depending on the crime and their age, can seek a court order for expunction of a record.

[...]

Attorney Erik R. Guenther, who co-wrote the petition, agreed that in some cases, someone who has never been convicted “is in a worse position” than someone who has.

The current statute, SCR 72.06, provides that some lower level felonies and misdemeanor changes are eligible to be expunged if the convicted individual is under 25.

Guenther said the purpose of the proposed change is to provide some uniformity throughout the circuit courts and have the Supreme Court recognize its inherent authority to go beyond the statute.

“The petition is premised on the idea that the court has the inherent and equitable authority when the statutory remedy isn’t sufficient,” he said.


The full article is available here.

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