Terms Used In Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 973
- Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
- Records: includes any incident reports, photographs, fingerprints, disposition, or any other such information of any kind in relation to a single arrest event in the possession of the clerk of court, any criminal justice agency, and local and state law enforcement agencies but shall not include DNA records. See Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 972
A. An expunged record of arrest or conviction shall be confidential and no longer considered to be a public record and shall not be made available to any person or other entity except for the following:
(1) To a member of a law enforcement or criminal justice agency or prosecutor who shall request that information in writing, certifying that the request is for the purpose of investigating, prosecuting, or enforcing criminal law, for the purpose of any other statutorily defined law enforcement or administrative duties, or for the purposes of the requirements of sex offender registration and notification pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 15:540 et seq.
(2) On order of a court of competent jurisdiction and after a contradictory hearing for good cause shown.
(3) To the person whose record has been expunged or his counsel.
(4) To a member of a law enforcement or criminal justice agency, prosecutor, or judge, who requests that information in writing, certifying that the request is for the purpose of defending a law enforcement, criminal justice agency, or prosecutor in a civil suit for damages resulting from wrongful arrest or other civil litigation and the expunged record is necessary to provide a proper defense.
B. Upon written request therefor and on a confidential basis, the information contained in an expunged record may be released to the following entities that shall maintain the confidentiality of such record: the Office of Financial Institutions, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, the Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission, Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions, the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners, the Louisiana State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, or any person or entity requesting a record of all criminal arrests and convictions pursuant to R.S. 15:587.1, or as otherwise provided by law.
C. Except as to those persons and other entities set forth in Paragraph A of this Article, no person whose record of arrest or conviction has been expunged shall be required to disclose to any person that he was arrested or convicted of the subject offense, or that the record of the arrest or conviction has been expunged.
D. Any person who fails to maintain the confidentiality of records as required by the provisions of this Article shall be subject to contempt proceedings.
E. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit or impair in any way the subsequent use of any expunged record of any arrests or convictions by a law enforcement agency, criminal justice agency, or prosecutor including its use as a predicate offense, for the purposes of the Habitual Offender Law, or as otherwise authorized by law.
F. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit or impair the authority of a law enforcement official to use an expunged record of any arrests or convictions in conducting an investigation to ascertain or confirm the qualifications of any person for any privilege or license as required or authorized by law.
G. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit or impair in any way the subsequent use of any expunged record of any arrests or convictions by a “news-gathering organization”. For the purposes of this Title, “news-gathering organization” means all of the following:
(1) A newspaper, or news publication, printed or electronic, of current news and intelligence of varied, broad, and general public interest, having been published for a minimum of one year and that can provide documentation of membership in a statewide or national press association, as represented by an employee thereof who can provide documentation of his employment with the newspaper, wire service, or news publication.
(2) A radio broadcast station, television broadcast station, cable television operator, or wire service as represented by an employee thereof who can provide documentation of his employment.
H. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to relieve a person who is required to register and provide notice as a child predator or sex offender of any obligations and responsibilities provided in R.S. 15:541 et seq.
Acts 2014, No. 145, §1; Acts 2018, No. 141, §1.