404 – Expunction of Inmate and JIMS Records
This policy provides guidelines on the expunction of inmate records
All expunction orders from Harris County district courts for inmate and / or JIMS records shall be processed through the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 55, “Expunction of Criminal Records.”
Any expunction order issued by a Harris County district court, regardless of whom it may have been delivered to within the HCSO, will be immediately delivered to the HCSO for the initiation of the compliance procedures.
Following the receipt of an expunction order by the HCSO, compliance will be completed by all bureaus, and divisions thereof, in the manner set out below:
1. The original expunction order will be forwarded to the Systems and Applications Section of the Executive Bureau for dissemination to the respective bureau commanders.
2. The Systems and Applications Section will ensure each bureau commander is given a copy of the expunction order with form D-103 (Rev.) “Compliance with Expunction Order.” Upon receipt of the e-mail notification, the contact person must click on “CLICK HERE FOR CONFIRMATION.” The system will record that the expunction order was read.
3. Each bureau commander shall direct each of the respective division commanders to initiate a thorough search of all files and records to ascertain if the petitioner’s cause for expunction is contained therein.
4. If no reference to the petitioner’s cause for expunction is located, the appropriate entry will be made on the D-103 (Rev.) “Compliance with Expunction Order” form, and it will be returned to the Systems and Applications Section within five (5) days of receipt of the expunction order unless there is a due date assigned to the order.
5. When a record or file is located that is subject to the expunction order, that record or file shall be removed, attached to the expunction order, and returned to the Systems and Application Section with the appropriate entry made on form D-103 (Rev.).
6. If removal of the record or file is impracticable, then all portions of the record or file that identify the person whose record is to be expunged shall be obliterated, and a copy of the obliterated record or file shall be delivered to the Systems and Applications Section with the appropriate entry made on the form D-103 (Rev.).
7. Any bureau, or division thereof, having made a secondary dissemination to another agency or person of the information subject to the expunction order must notify that agency or person and require either the return of or the obliteration of the person’s record or file that is subject to the expunction order. The appropriate entry will be made on form D-103 (Rev.) and forwarded to the Systems and Applications Section.
8. Each bureau commander, following receipt of a copy of the expunction order with form D-103 (Rev.) attached thereto, shall comply and return it to the Systems and Applications Section within five (5) days of receipt of the expunction order unless there is a due date assigned to the order.
9. After the expunction procedures have been completed by all bureau commanders and returned to the Systems and Applications Section, the expunged records or files will then be sealed. The Systems and Applications Section supervisor will be notified of the completion of the compliance procedures and will then direct proper notification to the district court having issued the expunction order.
10. If a bureau fails to respond within five (5) days or by the due date, the expunction clerk must report non-compliance to the Systems and Applications Section supervisor. The supervisor will make the non-compliance notification to the person responsible for signing the compliance letters for the respective bureau.
B. Effect of Expunction Order, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 55.03:
After entry of an expunction order:
1. The release, dissemination, or use of the expunged records or files for any purpose is prohibited; [CALEA Standard 82.1.1a & c]
2. Except as provided in Subdivision 3 of this article, the petitioner may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order; and
3. The petitioner or any other person, when questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records have been expunged, may state only that the matter in question has been expunged.
C. Violation of Expunction Order, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 55.04:
1. A person who acquires knowledge of an arrest while an officer or employee of the State of Texas, or of any agency or entity of the State of Texas, or any political subdivision of the State of Texas, and who knows of an order expunging the records and files relating to that arrest, commits an offense if he knowingly releases, disseminates, or otherwise uses the records or files. [CALEA Standard 82.1.1 a & c]
2. A person who knowingly fails to return or to obliterate identifying portions of a record or file ordered expunged under this chapter commits an offense.
3. An offense under this article is a Class B misdemeanor.
This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:
April 21, 2009