It’s possible to get a VPO expunged in Oklahoma. Expungement means the sealing of VPO court records from public inspection but not from law enforcement agencies, the court, or the district attorney. In a VPO expungement action the Plaintiff is the person or persons who sought the original VPO for cause; the Defendant is the person or persons to whom the VPO was directed.
Eligibility to Expunge an Oklahoma VPO
The eligibility for expungement of a VPO is covered in 22 O.S. § 60.18. People eligible to file a motion for expungement of a VPO must be in one of the following categories:
- an ex-parte order was issued to the plaintiff but later terminated due to dismissal of the petitioner before the full hearing or denial of the petition upon full hearing or failure of the plaintiff to appear for full hearing and at least 90 days have passed since the date for a full hearing;
- the plaintiff filed an application for a VPO and failed to appear for the full hearing and at least 90 days have passed since the date last set by the court for the full hearing including the last date set for any continuance, postponement of rescheduling of the hearing;
- the plaintiff or defendant has had the order vacated and three years have passed since the order to vacate was entered; or
- the plaintiff or defendant is deceased.
Process to Expunge an Oklahoma VPO
The petition must state whether the defendant in the protective order has been convicted of any violation of the protective order and whether any prosecution or complaint is pending in the state or any other state for a violation or alleged violation of the protective order that is thought to be expunged.
The court may order the court record, or any part of it, to be sealed from public inspection. This will only happen when there is no objection from the other party to the VPO or upon a finding that the harm to the privacy of the person in interest or dangers of unwarranted adverse consequences outweigh the public and safety interests of the parties to the protective order in retaining the records. Any record ordered to be sealed may be obliterated or destroyed at the end of ten years.
Effect of an Expunged VPO
Upon the entry of an order to expunge and seal from public inspection a VPO court record, or any part thereof, the subject’s official actions are deemed never to have occurred, and the persons in interest and the public may properly reply, upon any inquiry in the matter, that no such action ever occurred and that no such record exists with respect to the persons. Employers, educational institutions, state and local government agencies, officials, and employees can’t require in any application, interview, or otherwise, an applicant to disclose any information contained in the protective order or court records.
An applicant does not have to, in answer to any question concerning the records, provide information that has been sealed, including any reference to or information concerning the sealed information and can state that no such action has ever occurred. The application can’t be denied solely because of the refusal of the applicant to disclose protective order court records information that has been sealed. Law enforcement, the district attorney, or the court can access those records without a court order.
Source: 22 O.S. § 60.18
Current as of April 4, 2020. Laws are subject to change at any time! Go to the sources cited above for the most up-to-date law.