Mental Health Expungement Overview

The statutes of the State of New Jersey allow for the expungement of mental health records stemming from both voluntary and involuntary commitments. These statutes are very different from the statutes dealing with the expungement of criminal records.

People have different reasons for wanting to have their mental health records expunged. Some people are interested in obtaining a job in law enforcement, a job in corrections, or a job in the judicial system. Other individuals seek mental health expungements so that they can obtain a New Jersey Firearms Identification Card. And some individuals just want to be able to legally say that the event never occurred. Whatever your reason for wanting a New Jersey Mental Health Expungement the Law Office of Matthew B. Lun, Esq. can help.

Mental Health Expungement Law

The New Jersey law regarding the expungement of mental health records is located at N.J.S.A. 30:4-80.8. That section specifies when a mental health record will be expunged. More specifically, that section states:

1.     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.

L.1953, c.268, s.1; amended 1976, c.108, s.1; 1978, c.163; 1991, c.91, s.317; 2009, c.183, s.1

The statute therefore requires a showing that either the individual was discharged as recovered, or that the individual has substantially improved or in remission.

The next section outlines the procedure for filing the mental health expungement as well as the standard used in determining whether or not the petition for expungement should be granted. That section states:

“the court shall hear evidence as to: the circumstances of why the commitment or determination was imposed upon the petitioner, the petitioner’s mental health record and criminal history, and the petitioner’s reputation in the community. If the court finds that the petitioner will not likely act in a manner dangerous to the public safety and finds that the grant of relief is not contrary to the public interest, the court shall grant such relief for which the petitioner has applied and, an order directing the clerk of the court to expunge such commitment from the records of the court.”

L.1953, c.268, s.2; amended 1976, c.108, s.2; 2009, c.183, s.2

Mental Health Expungement Cost

The cost of a mental health expungement in New Jersey can vary depending on the particular circumstances. The Law Office of Matthew B. Lun, Esq. typically charges a legal fee of $2000 for representation in a New Jersey Mental Health Expungement. In addition there are filing fees that must be paid to the court of approximately $200. Additionally, service to individual agencies must be made in accordance with court rules. Finally, it may be necessary to obtain medical evidence that the condition that led to the commitment is in remission or no longer present. Contact the Law Office of Matthew B. Lun at 609-964-0900 for more information.