House passes Chairman Craven’s bill that seals dismissed court cases more quickly


            STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives tonight passed legislation (2023-H 5913A) sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Robert E. Craven, Sr. (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) which requires automatic sealing of certain dismissed criminal case records at a faster timeframe.

            “Public records of criminal court cases, especially dismissed cases, often cause significant harm and frustration for individuals who no longer have any business before the courts.  By requiring these records to be sealed more quickly, there is far less risk of the information causing damage to an individual’s professional or personal lives,” said Chairman Craven.

            The legislation would amend the current timeframe for automatic sealing of criminal cases in the District Court when the prosecution has filed a dismissal of an indictment, information, or complaint resulting in termination of charges, from the current time frame of 90 days to not less than 10 days and not more than 20 days after dismissal of the criminal matter.

            The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration where Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) has introduced the legislation (2023-S 0906).