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I was denied to have my Cori sealed in one court while I had another charge sealed in another. What can I do?

Dedham, MA |

How long after can I go back to find out if I can seal the record? Can I find out why I was original denied?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

It sounds like you had charges out of two courts, both of which qualified for sealing under G.L. ch. 276, s. 100C. 100C sealing petitions are for charges that were dismissed without a period of probation, nolle prossed, no probable cause was found or you were found not guilty. There is no waiting period to apply for sealing under 100C, but 100C petitions can be denied at the judge's discretion and a separate 100C petition must be filed in each court.

Just because Court A allows your 100C petition in no way requires that Court B allow your 100C petition. In your case, you can have a lawyer refile the petition on your behalf providing supporting memoranda and evidence in support of the petition, which will increase your chances of the petition being granted. You can ask to see the court file in the court that denied your sealing petition - your petition to seal should be in the file along with the judge's decision wherein the judge may have stated why the petition was denied. I suspect that the judge denied your original petition because he/she was not convinced, based on the documents you file and your oral argument to the judge, that you met the standard for sealing under 100C (the so-called "substantial justice" test), but your sealing petition could have been denied for some other reason, the most common of which is that you received a dismissal only after completing a period of probation (i.e. a CWOF--> DISM), a type of dismissal that is currently ineligible for sealing under 100C.

Another option you may have is to pursue sealing under G.L. 100A, if your charges out of Court B qualify for sealing under 100A. More details on the Court B charge(s) would be helpful. What were the charges? Were you placed on probation? What was the disposition on each of the charges? When did that disposition occur?

This reply is intended for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. Attorney Dominic L. Pang is a Massachusetts licensed attorney and the information in this response is meant to apply to Massachusetts law only. The answer to this question should not be used as a substitute for personalized legal advice.

Posted

Attorney Pang gave the perfect answer, the bottom line is each court can do something different.