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Alaska Records Sealing Law

Tagged under: Law Resources Alaska Expeal
By Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi on December 9, 2015.

Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi found this image of Alaska's State Flag.

Alaska has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to sealing your record. Only those who can prove that, beyond a reasonable doubt, their identity was stolen or the accusations made against them were false, through judicial order or pardon, will qualify to have their record sealed. The rest will have to convince the Department of Safety that the record is of no use to them and ask for it to be purged. In order to help educate as many people as we can, the entire text of Alaska Statutes Section 12.62.180 to 12.62.190, are printed below. The text and commentary are both from December 9, 2015. Please make sure everything is still accurate.

A few key points to remember:

  • Only those who had their identities stolen or who were falsely accused will qualify.
  • Only the records in the hands of the agency that has ordered the sealing of records will be sealed.
  • If the Department of Safety denies your request, you will have to go through agency procedures to appeal the decision.

While we do our absolute best to make sure that our qualification form is completely accurate, no one other than an attorney licensed in Alaska will know for sure whether you qualify. They will review these same rules as well as case-law related to this statute to come to their decision.

Alaska Statutes Section 12.62.180

Records of criminal justice information. (a) Under this section, a criminal justice agency may seal only the information that the agency is responsible for maintaining.
(b) A person may submit a written request to the head of the agency responsible for maintaining past conviction or current offender information, asking the agency to seal such information about the person that, beyond a reasonable doubt, resulted from mistaken identity or false accusation. The decision of the head of the agency is the final administrative decision on the request.
(c) The person requesting that the information be sealed may appeal an adverse decision of the agency to the court under applicable rules of procedure for appealing the decision of an administrative agency. The appellant bears the burden on appeal of showing that the agency decision was clearly mistaken. An appeal filed under this subsection may not collaterally attack a court judgment or a decision by prison, probation, or parole authorities, or any other action that is or could have been subject to appeal, post-conviction relief, or other administrative remedy.
(d) A person about whom information is sealed under this section may deny the existence of the information and of an arrest, charge, conviction, or sentence shown in the information. Information that is sealed under this section may be provided to another person or agency only
(1) for record management purposes, including auditing;
(2) for criminal justice employment purposes;
(3) for review by the subject of the record;
(4) for research and statistical purposes;
(5) when necessary to prevent imminent harm to a person; or
(6) for a use authorized by statute or court order.

Commentary on Section 12.62.180

This is the section that governs legal requirements for sealing a record. A person will have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone stole their identity or that a false accusation led to the conviction. This isn't done through a court, but rather, through the Alaska Department of Safety. If they deny your request, any appeal of the decision will have to be done according to the agency's procedures.
Another important aspect is that the records are not actually destroyed, but removed from the public view. Anyone who successfully seals their record will be able to deny the existence of the records. However, all the purposes listed in this section govern how the records can be shared even after they were sealed.

Alaska Statutes Section 12.62.190

Purging of criminal justice information. (a) A criminal justice agency may purge only the criminal justice information that the agency is responsible for maintaining. An agency may determine when and what information will be purged, under (b) of this section.
(b) Criminal justice information may be purged if the agency determines that the information is devoid of usefulness to a criminal justice agency due to the
(1) death of the subject of the information;
(2) age of the information;
(3) nature of the offense or of the information;
(4) volume of the agency's records or other record management considerations.

Commentary on Section 12.62.190

For those that don't qualify to seal their record, they must ask the Alaska Department of Safety to purge the records. The reasons for which the DPS is allowed to purge a record are listed. This is a particularly useful method for those who have been accused of something that is now legal, of something minor from decades prior, or simply to clear a person's record after they have passed.

Get Started

Once you are ready, these are the agencies you need to contact: You will also have to contact your county clerk of court. Step-by-step instructions including who to contact, what to send, and where to send it, are available at the end of our qualification form.

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