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Texas Order Of Non-Disclosure LawGovernment Code § 411.081

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Texas Criminal Record Sealing

§ 411.081. Application of Subchapter

(a) This subchapter does not apply to criminal history record information that is contained in:

(1) posters, announcements, or lists for identifying or apprehending fugitives or wanted persons;

(2) original records of entry, including police blotters maintained by a criminal justice agency that are compiled chronologically and required by law or long-standing practice to be available to the public;

(3) public judicial, administrative, or legislative proceedings;

(4) court records of public judicial proceedings, except as provided by Subsection (g-3);

(5) published judicial or administrative opinions; or

(6) announcements of executive clemency.

(b) This subchapter does not prohibit a criminal justice agency from disclosing to the public criminal history record information that is related to the offense for which a person is involved in the criminal justice system.

(c) This subchapter does not prohibit a criminal justice agency from confirming previous criminal history record information to any person on specific inquiry about whether a named person was arrested, detained, indicted, or formally charged on a specified date, if the information disclosed is based on data excluded by Subsection (b).

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, if a person is placed on deferred adjudication community supervision under Section 5, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, subsequently receives a discharge and dismissal under Section 5(c), Article 42.12, and satisfies the requirements of Subsection (e), the person may petition the court that placed the defendant on deferred adjudication for an order of nondisclosure under this subsection. Except as provided by Subsection (e), a person may petition the court for an order of nondisclosure regardless of whether the person has been previously placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense. After notice to the state, an opportunity for a hearing, and a determination that the person is entitled to file the petition and issuance of the order is in the best interest of justice, the court shall issue an order prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information related to the offense giving rise to the deferred adjudication. A criminal justice agency may disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of the order only to other criminal justice agencies, for criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes, an agency or entity listed in Subsection (i), or the person who is the subject of the order. A person may petition the court that placed the person on deferred adjudication for an order of nondisclosure only on or after:

(1) the discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a misdemeanor other than a misdemeanor described by Subdivision (2);

(2) the second anniversary of the discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a misdemeanor under Chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, or 46, Penal Code; or

(3) the fifth anniversary of the discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a felony.

(e) A person is entitled to petition the court under Subsection (d) only if during the period of the deferred adjudication community supervision for which the order of nondisclosure is requested and during the applicable period described by Subsection (d)(1), (2), or (3), as appropriate, the person is not convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision under Section 5, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, for any offense other than an offense under the Transportation Code punishable by fine only. A person is not entitled to petition the court under Subsection (d) if the person was placed on the deferred adjudication community supervision for or has been previously convicted or placed on any other deferred adjudication for:

(1) an offense requiring registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(2) an offense under Section 20.04, Penal Code, regardless of whether the offense is a reportable conviction or adjudication for purposes of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(3) an offense under Section 19.02, 19.03, 22.04, 22.041, 25.07, 25.072, or 42.072, Penal Code; or

(4) any other offense involving family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code.

(f) For purposes of Subsection (d), a person is considered to have been placed on deferred adjudication community supervision if, regardless of the statutory authorization:

(1) the person entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere;

(2) the judge deferred further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt and placed the person under the supervision of the court or an officer under the supervision of the court; and

(3) at the end of the period of supervision the judge dismissed the proceedings and discharged the person.

(f-1) A person who petitions the court for an order of nondisclosure under Subsection (d) may file the petition in person, electronically, or by mail. The petition must be accompanied by payment of a $28 fee to the clerk of the court in addition to any other fee that generally applies to the filing of a civil petition. The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall prescribe a form for the filing of a petition electronically or by mail. The form must provide for the petition to be accompanied by the required fees and any other supporting material determined necessary by the office of court administration, including evidence that the person is entitled to file the petition. The office of court administration shall make available on its Internet website the electronic application and printable application form. Each county or district clerk's office that maintains an Internet website shall include on that website a link to the electronic application and printable application form available on the office of court administration's Internet website. On receipt of a petition under this subsection, the court shall provide notice to the state and an opportunity for a hearing on whether the person is entitled to file the petition and issuance of the order is in the best interest of justice. The court shall hold a hearing before determining whether to issue an order of nondisclosure, except that a hearing is not required if:

(1) the state does not request a hearing on the issue before the 45th day after the date on which the state receives notice under this subsection; and

(2) the court determines that:

(A) the defendant is entitled to file the petition; and

(B) the order is in the best interest of justice.

(g) Not later than the 15th business day after the date an order of nondisclosure is issued under this section, the clerk of the court shall send all relevant criminal history record information contained in the order or a copy of the order by certified mail, return receipt requested, or secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission to the Crime Records Service of the Department of Public Safety.

(g-1) Not later than 10 business days after receipt of relevant criminal history record information contained in an order or a copy of an order under Subsection (g), the Department of Public Safety shall seal any criminal history record information maintained by the department that is the subject of the order. The department shall also send all relevant criminal history record information contained in the order or a copy of the order by certified mail, return receipt requested, or secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission to all:

(1) law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state;

(2) central federal depositories of criminal records that there is reason to believe have criminal history record information that is the subject of the order; and

(3) private entities that purchase criminal history record information from the department or that otherwise are likely to have criminal history record information that is subject to the order.

(g-1a) The director shall adopt rules regarding minimum standards for the security of secure electronic mail, electronic transmissions, and facsimile transmissions under Subsections (g) and (g-1). In adopting rules under this subsection, the director shall consult with the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.

(g-1b) Not later than 30 business days after receipt of relevant criminal history record information contained in an order or a copy of an order from the Department of Public Safety under Subsection (g-1), an individual or entity described by Subsection (g-1)(1) shall seal any criminal history record information maintained by the individual or entity that is the subject of the order.

(g-1c) The department may charge to a private entity that purchases criminal history record information from the department a fee in an amount sufficient to recover costs incurred by the department in providing relevant criminal history record information contained in an order or a copy of an order under Subsection (g-1)(3) to the entity.

(g-2) A person whose criminal history record information has been sealed under this section is not required in any application for employment, information, or licensing to state that the person has been the subject of any criminal proceeding related to the information that is the subject of an order issued under this section.

(g-3) A court may not disclose to the public any information contained in the court records that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure issued under this section. The court may disclose information contained in the court records that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure only to criminal justice agencies for criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes, to an agency or entity listed in Subsection (i), or to the person who is the subject of the order. The clerk of the court issuing an order of nondisclosure under this section shall seal any court records containing information that is the subject of the order as soon as practicable after the date the clerk of the court sends all relevant criminal history record information contained in the order or a copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety under Subsection (g).

(h) The clerk of a court that collects a fee under Subsection (d) shall remit the fee to the comptroller not later than the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter in which the fee is collected, and the comptroller shall deposit the fee in the general revenue fund. The Department of Public Safety shall submit a report to the legislature not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year that includes information on:

(1) the number of petitions for nondisclosure and orders of nondisclosure received by the department in each of the previous two years;

(2) the actions taken by the department with respect to the petitions and orders received;

(3) the costs incurred by the department in taking those actions; and

(4) the number of persons who are the subject of an order of nondisclosure and who became the subject of criminal charges for an offense committed after the order was issued.

<Text of subsec. (i), as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 266 (H.B. 729), § 4, and Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 583 (S.B. 869), § 32>

(i) A criminal justice agency may disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure under Subsection (d) to the following noncriminal justice agencies or entities only:

(1) the State Board for Educator Certification;

(2) a school district, charter school, private school, regional education service center, commercial transportation company, or education shared service arrangement;

(3) the Texas Medical Board;

(4) the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired;

(5) the Board of Law Examiners;

(6) the State Bar of Texas;

(7) a district court regarding a petition for name change under Subchapter B, Chapter 45, Family Code;

(8) the Texas School for the Deaf;

(9) the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(10) the Texas Juvenile Justice Department ;

(11) the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services;

(12) the Department of State Health Services, a local mental health service, a local mental retardation authority, or a community center providing services to persons with mental illness or retardation;

(13) the Texas Private Security Board;

(14) a municipal or volunteer fire department;

(15) the Texas Board of Nursing;

(16) a safe house providing shelter to children in harmful situations;

(17) a public or nonprofit hospital or hospital district, or a facility as defined by Section 250.001, Health and Safety Code;

(18) the securities commissioner, the banking commissioner, the savings and mortgage lending commissioner, the consumer credit commissioner, or the credit union commissioner;

(19) the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy;

(20) the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;

(21) the Health and Human Services Commission;

(22) the Department of Aging and Disability Services;

(23) the Texas Education Agency;

(24) the Guardianship Certification Board;

(25) a county clerk's office in relation to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian under Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code;

(26) the Department of Information Resources but only regarding an employee, applicant for employment, contractor, subcontractor, intern, or volunteer who provides network security services under Chapter 2059 to:

(A) the Department of Information Resources; or

(B) a contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Information Resources;

(27) the Court Reporters Certification Board; the Texas Department of Insurance; and

(28) the Texas Department of Insurance;

(29) the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; and.

(30) the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

<Text of subsec. (i), as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 42 (S.B. 966), § 2.23, effective Sept. 1, 2014>

(i) A criminal justice agency may disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure under Subsection (d) to the following noncriminal justice agencies or entities only:

(1) the State Board for Educator Certification;

(2) a school district, charter school, private school, regional education service center, commercial transportation company, or education shared service arrangement;

(3) the Texas Medical Board;

(4) the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired;

(5) the Board of Law Examiners;

(6) the State Bar of Texas;

(7) a district court regarding a petition for name change under Subchapter B, Chapter 45, Family Code;

(8) the Texas School for the Deaf;

(9) the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(10) the Texas Juvenile Justice Department ;

(11) the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services;

(12) the Department of State Health Services, a local mental health service, a local mental retardation authority, or a community center providing services to persons with mental illness or retardation;

(13) the Texas Private Security Board;

(14) a municipal or volunteer fire department;

(15) the Texas Board of Nursing;

(16) a safe house providing shelter to children in harmful situations;

(17) a public or nonprofit hospital or hospital district;

(18) the securities commissioner, the banking commissioner, the savings and mortgage lending commissioner, the consumer credit commissioner, or the credit union commissioner;

(19) the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy;

(20) the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;

(21) the Health and Human Services Commission;

(22) the Department of Aging and Disability Services;

(23) the Texas Education Agency;

(24) the Judicial Branch Certification Commission;

(25) a county clerk's office in relation to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian under Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code;

(26) the Department of Information Resources but only regarding an employee, applicant for employment, contractor, subcontractor, intern, or volunteer who provides network security services under Chapter 2059 to:

(A) the Department of Information Resources; or

(B) a contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Information Resources;

(27) the Texas Department of Insurance; and

(28) the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

(j) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., ch. 731 (H.B. 961), § 12.

eff. Sept. 1, 2013.