Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - New Hampshire

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:35

Upon receipt by the Department of Health and Human Services of a written request and verified proof of identity, an individual shall be informed by the department if that individual's name is listed in the founded reports maintained in the central registry.

Any individual whose name is listed in the founded reports maintained on the central registry may petition the district court to have his or her name expunged from the registry. A petition to expunge shall be filed in the district court where the abuse and neglect petition was heard. In cases where the department makes a finding but no petition is filed with the court, a petition to expunge shall be filed in the district court where the petition for the abuse and neglect could have been brought.

When a petition to expunge is filed, the district court shall require the department to report to the court concerning any additional founded abuse and neglect reports on the petitioner and shall require that the department submit the petitioner's name, birth date, and address to the State police to obtain information about criminal convictions. The court may require the department to provide any additional information that the court believes may aid it in making a determination on the petition.

Upon the receipt of the department's report, the court may act on the petition without further hearing or may schedule the matter for hearing at the request of either party. If the court determines that the petitioner does not pose a present threat to the safety of children, the court shall grant the petition and order the department to remove the individual's name from the central registry. Otherwise, the petition shall be dismissed.

When an individual's name is added to the central registry, the department shall notify individuals of their right to petition to have their name expunged from the central registry. No petition to expunge shall be brought within 1 year from the date that the petitioner's name was initially entered on the central registry. If the petition to expunge is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:35-a

The department shall retain a screened-out report for 1 year from the date that the report was screened out, after which time the department shall delete or destroy all electronic and paper records of the report. A report is 'screened out' when the department has determined it does not rise to the level of a credible report of abuse or neglect and is not referred for assessment.

The department shall retain an unfounded report for 3 years from the date that the department determined the case to be unfounded, after which time the department shall delete or destroy all electronic and paper records of the report.

The department shall retain a founded or a report that was unfounded but with reasonable concern report for 7 years from the date that the department closes the case, after which time the department shall delete or destroy all electronic and paper records of the report. This paragraph shall not apply to foster placement records or to adoption records.