Can I seal or expunge an injunction?

You can seal or expunge an injunction by filing a motion with the clerk of courts. The motion is called a motion to determine confidentiality of court records. If this motion is granted it accomplishes very much the same thing as sealing or expunging a criminal record.

The most important thing is that the details of the injunction not remain public – or accessible to the public. All a person has to do right now is to see the details of any injunction is make a public records request with the clerk of court. That’s really bad if you have been falsely accused of stalking, violence or exploitation. If you have been accused of any kind of injunction, it is highly advisable that you try to get the record sealed. Technically, an expunction is where the file is destroyed. Sealing is where the contents of the record are not accessible without a court order. This motion accomplishes the latter. The file will not be destroyed. It will only be made confidential.

To be successful on a motion to determine confidentiality of court records, you will need to do very specific things. First, properly file the written motion and a proposed order. Second, properly notice the opposing party. Third, specify what parts of the file you are requesting be made confidential (you can say the entire file). Fourth, specify the legal basis and authority which applies to your case. Fifth, state that there is no less restrictive means to protect your interests. Finally, you have state in writing in the motion that your motion is made in good faith.

Once you file the motion, the judge will determine whether or not have a hearing. The judge may also just grant or deny your motion without a hearing – but they need to say why in the order.

It is a good practice to discuss this motion during any hearings that you may appear before the judge on in the injunction matter. For example, if you are already there for a final hearing, you may as well discuss this issue at the conclusion of the hearing or trial – because all the parties are present.

If you want to try to have your injunction record sealed or expunged, give us a call today to see if we might be able to help.

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