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Expunction & Non-disclosure of Criminal Records

District courts have jurisdiction for expunction and non-disclosure of criminal records.  This section deals with the policies and procedures to be used in the 506th Judicial District Court in both Grimes County and Waller County for obtaining orders for expunction or nondisclosure of criminal records. Expunction due to acquittal after trial is not included in this procedure.  In the event of any conflict between these instructions and the requirements of law, the requirements of law shall govern.

Chapter 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure governs expungement.  Provisions for nondisclosure is covered under Texas Government Code Section 411.081, as well as Chapter 55 of the T.C.C.P.

An expunction or non-disclosure order may be obtained by filing a petition alleging the necessary elements and presenting proof of those elements at a hearing on the petition.  The petition should be filed in the court where the case was tried if it was a district court, or in any district court in the same county of the trial court if the trial court was a lower court.

After the petition is filed, the court is required to set a hearing on the matter no sooner than 30 days from the filing of the petition and, through the District Clerk, to give reasonable notice of the hearing to each official, agency, or other entity named in the petition. The petitioner is responsible for paying the required notice and filing fees.  As a matter of policy, the required hearing date will be the ancillary date closest to 45 days after the date of filing of the petition, but not less than the 30 day required notice.  See Court Calendars here.

The hearing date must be obtained from the Court Coordinator prior to the Clerk sending out the required notices.  After all required notices have been sent and the required return date has been met, a hearing on the matter must be held.  In the event the State has no objection and no other entity has filed an objection to the petition, the matter may be submitted to the court under a Notice of Submission, with the submission date and time being on or after the hearing date and time previously obtained from the Court Coordinator.

Counsel for petitioner, or any self-represented party, may, prior to or at the hearing on an uncontested petition for expunction or non-disclosure, submit an affidavit signed and sworn to by petitioner containing all of the statutory requirements pertaining to the eligibility of petitioner. In those situations in which there is no objection filed, the required notice time has expired and the required affidavit has been, or will be, filed, and with prior permission of the court, the petitioner will not be required to attend the hearing.

In the event any entity receiving notice of the petition files an objection, the matter shall be set for hearing in the same manner as all other contested hearings in the 506th Judicial District Court.  See Setting Requests here.