IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA MIDDLE DISTRICT
May 6, 2009
IN RE: NOTICE OF PENDING EXPUNGEMENT OF JUVENILE RECORDS AND VACATUR OF LUZERNE COUNTY JUVENILE COURT CONSENT DECREES OR ADJUDICATIONS FROM 2003-2008
IN RE: J.V.R.; H.T., A MINOR THROUGH: HER MOTHER, L.T.; ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND SIMILARLY SITUATED YOUTH
On March 26, 2009, this Court entered a per curiam order in No. 81 MM 2008, adopting and approving the First Interim Report and Recommendation of the Special Master and recognizing, inter alia, that certain juveniles who appeared in Luzerne County Juvenile Court between 2003 and 2008 are eligible to have their consent decrees or adjudications of delinquency vacated and their juvenile court records expunged. The Court specifically authorized the Special Master to grant such relief as expeditiously as possible. This Court also recognized that: "The Special Master has noted that some of the affected juveniles or their counsel may wish to delay expungement until they can collect records and information for use in pending civil lawsuits."
In order to effectuate the authorized expungements as soon as possible, while also providing an opportunity to those juveniles, their parents, guardians, or legal representatives who may wish to secure copies of the records prior to expungement, the following procedures are adopted:
1. Any juvenile who is eligible to have his or her record expunged will, before the records are destroyed, have the opportunity to obtain copies of his or her records from the Luzerne County Juvenile Court Clerk's Office and from the Luzerne County Juvenile Probation Office. Any juvenile who satisfies the following criteria is eligible for expungement and is eligible to make such a timely request of the Special Master:
(a) who during calendar years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, or 2008, appeared in the Juvenile Court of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas for an adjudication hearing, a disposition hearing, or any other proceeding before Judge Mark A. Ciaverella, Jr.; and,
(b) who was not represented by counsel at said hearing or proceeding; and,
(c) who did not waive his/her right to counsel, or did not waive it in conformity with Pa.R.J.C.P. 152, or, for proceedings prior to October 1, 2005, did not waive it in a manner such that there is evidence in the record of waiver meeting the standard enunciated in Commonwealth v. Monica, 528 Pa. 266, 597 A.2d 600 (1991); and,
(d) where all of the offenses alleged in the Petition(s) fall within one or more of the following categories:
(i) offenses graded as misdemeanors of the third degree;
(ii) offenses graded as summary offenses;
(iii) theft offenses graded as misdemeanors of the second degree or third degree pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 3903(b);
(iv) offenses under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act ("CSDDCA"), 35 Pa.C.S. § 780-113(a)(31);
(v) offenses under the CSDDCA, 35 Pa.C.S. § 780-113(a)(32); and
(vi) offenses under the CSDDCA, 35 Pa.C.S. § 780-113(a)(16).
2. Any juvenile, parent, guardian, or legal representative of a juvenile who believes he or she needs copies of records kept by the Luzerne County Juvenile Court Clerk's Office and the Luzerne County Juvenile Probation Office shall notify the Special Master, Senior Judge Arthur Grim, in writing, and request a copy of those records. Such requests shall state the juvenile's full name and birth date, explain what records the juvenile needs, and state succinctly the reason he or she needs them. All such requests to the Special Master shall be postmarked no later than Monday, June 1, 2009. The requests shall be mailed to the Special Master at the following address:
Honorable Arthur Grim
Berks County Courthouse Senior Judges' Chambers 633 Court Street Reading, PA 19601-3540
3. Thereafter, the Special Master shall enter orders of vacatur of consent decrees and adjudications and expungement of all records in those juvenile cases that satisfy the aforementioned criteria, with the exception of cases where a juvenile, parent, guardian, or legal representative timely requests copies of the relevant juvenile records by Monday, June 1, 2009.
4. This Notice shall be published in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Citizens' Voice, the Scranton Sunday Times, and the Luzerne Legal Register.
By the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
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