ChesterNewMatterFall2017 - 8

CCBA Feature
Continued from page 7
Accordingly, we have stressed courts should not add,
by interpretation, a requirement not included by the
General Assembly. Johnson, 26 A.3d at 1090, citing
Commonwealth v. Rieck Investment Corp., 419 Pa.
52, 213 A.2d 277, 282 (Pa. 1965)."
It would seem that the Supreme Court could have just
reached an all-conclusive decision in this case and granted
the appellant full relief. However, in its closing statement and
decision, it fell short of stopping the controversy.
"Finally, regarding the Commonwealth's somewhat
tautological argument that the trial court did not
abuse its discretion because appellant was ineligible
for expungement, we note the trial court did not
purport to exercise its discretion; the court held
instead appellant was not eligible for expungement
as a matter of law pursuant to its reading of the
statute. Trial Court Opinion, 7/16/14, slip op.
at 4. Accordingly, we remand to the trial court
for consideration of all factors relevant to the
discretionary determination of whether appellant's
summary offenses should be expunged. See, e.g.,
Wexler, 431 A.2d at 879 (factors to consider in
deciding whether to expunge criminal record

8 | New Matter

include (1) strength of Commonwealth's case; (2)
Commonwealth's reasons for wishing to retain
records; (3) petitioner's age, criminal record, and
employment history; (4) length of time between
arrest and petition to expunge; and (5) adverse
consequences resulting from denial). Reversed
and remanded for further proceedings.
Jurisdiction relinquished."
Many of you may be familiar with the Wexler case as was set
forth above. It is the leading case that sets forth some of the
elements a court should use to determine if the discretionary
power of the court should be asserted in granting an
expungement.
But there is a missing element of this case, and those like
it. Even though it appears that the Petitioner, VICTORIA
C. GIULIAN, was successful in having most of her petition
granted, we now all know who she is, who she was, and what
she did. My consistent counsel to attorneys who do this work
is to include in the Petition to Expunge an element of the
remedy that allows for the caption and identifying information
of the petitioner to be redacted or limited to initials only if the
matter goes to the appellate courts. What is the use of getting
an expungement if the entire world now knows who Victoria
C. Giulian is?



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