N.J.S.A. 30:4-80.8

Under New Jersey law, there are certain provisions that allow for the expungement of mental health records. Whether a past mental health commitment was voluntary or involuntary, it can be expunged from your records under the right circumstances. Other types of mental health records can also be expunged, for example if you have been legally determined to be “dangerous” based on mental health consideration.

Expungement of mental health records is similar in many ways to expungement of a criminal record, and both types of expungements can be very important to the quality and direction of your future, since mental health records can come into play in many types of life opportunities just like criminal records. However, because of the differences between these types of expungement, it is important to work with a skilled and experienced attorney with an in-depth knowledge of the various types of expungement processes. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our zealous expungement attorneys will carefully guide you through the process of expunging your mental health records as quickly and effectively as possible so that you can move on with your life.

Some of the most relevant ways in which mental health records expungements differ from criminal records expungements include the following:

Unlike with criminal records which have been expunged, it is unfortunately not considered a punishable crime for a person to reveal information regarding an expunged mental health record. When applying for a job in law enforcement, corrections, or the court system after your mental health records have been expunged, you are not required to provide mental health information that has been properly and successfully expunged from your records.

Applicable Law

The New Jersey Statute that governs petitions for the expungement of mental health commitment records, N.J.S. 30:4-80.8, provides as follows:

Any person who has been, or shall be, committed to any institution or facility providing mental health services, or has been determined to be a danger to himself, others, or property, or determined to be an incapacitated individual as defined in N.J.S.3B:1-2, by order of any court or by voluntary commitment and who was, or shall be, discharged from such institution or facility as recovered, or whose illness upon discharge, or subsequent to discharge or determination, is substantially improved or in substantial remission, may apply to the court by which such commitment was made, or to the Superior Court by verified petition setting forth the facts and praying for the relief provided for in this act.

Requirements for Expungement

New Jersey law dictates that in order to have mental health records expunged, an individual must first demonstrate that he or she has been discharged from mental health care and is considered by mental health professionals to be recovered, in remission, or substantially improved. Even if the individual did not fall under one of these classifications at the time of his or her discharge from an institution, expungement of a record can still be granted so long as he or she can show that mental health professionals feel that one of these classifications applies at the time that the expungement is requested. Once these requirements have been met, a petition must then be filed with the same Court which ordered the individual’s mental institution commitment, or with the NJ Superior Court. The law requires that certain people must be notified of the application, including the County adjuster, the institution where the individual was committed, and anyone who may have legally advocated for the commitment in the first place.

In reviewing a petition for expungement, a judge will analyze the circumstances surrounding the commitment or mental health determination at issue, the individual’s mental health records, the individual’s criminal record, if any, and evidence of the individual’s reputation. If the judge finds that the individual is not likely to act dangerously, and that the expungement does not go against the public interest for any reason, then the expungement will be granted.

New Jersey Mental Health Records Expungement Attorneys

Our highly skilled expungement attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have decades of experience handling a wide variety of different types of expungement petitions throughout New Jersey including indictable offenses, municipal ordinance violations, disorderly persons offenses, arrests not resulting in a conviction and juvenile charges . We are thoroughly prepared navigate your expungement matter quickly and zealously through the process in order to help you move on with your life. If you are ready to pursue a mental health records expungement or would like to learn more about the process, call us at 1-877-450-8301 any time for a free consultation.