Muni-mail – Forfeiture order survives Expungement of D/P – In re D.H.
[10/27/10 – 12:04] Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a sentence including an order of forfeiture of public office with a provision for no future public employment will survive an expungement of the underlying offense. The petitioner, a police officer, had been convicted of a disorderly persons offense that touched upon her office. As a result, upon conviction, she was subject to forfeiture of public office and a lifetime prohibition of employment with any political subdivision of the State of New Jersey. The petitioner subsequently got an order of expungement for the conviction and argued that the order eliminated both the underlying conviction and the forfeiture bar. However, the Court ruled that while the petitioner was clearly entitled to an expungement, the forfeiture requirement survives the expungement and continues as a bar to public employment.
This fact pattern can occur with a degree of regularity in municipal court when the defendant is a public employee and has been charged with a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense that touches upon his office. It is unlikely to occur in Superior Court since criminal matters involving forfeiture of public office are not generally capable of being expunged as a matter of statutory law. (See NJSA 2C:52-2(b))
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