Personal privacy bill advanced

Lawmakers advanced a bill from general file Jan. 28 that automatically would seal certain criminal proceeding records.

Currently arrests are removed from public record when criminal court charges are dismissed. However, such criminal proceeding records remain available on the state trial courts’ electronic case management system.

LB505, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, would ensure that such records are excluded from public record by mandating that state courts seal the records. Krist said the bill would strengthen already existing privacy provisions.

“[LB505] would protect legally innocent Nebraskans from the stigma of permanent public criminal records,” he said.

The bill would expand the types of arrests eligible for privacy protection to include those of individuals who are acquitted of criminal charges and offenders who successfully complete drug court or a similar problem-solving court.

When an arrest is removed from public record, a person would not be required to disclose the arrest in response to a public inquiry.

Following the adoption of a technical amendment, the bill advanced to select file on a 35-0 vote.

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