Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Pennsylvania

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6341

Any person named as a perpetrator and any school employee named in an indicated report of child abuse may, within 90 days of being notified of the status of the report, request the secretary of the Department of Public Welfare to amend or expunge an indicated report on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with law. If the secretary grants the request, the statewide central register, appropriate county agency, appropriate law enforcement officials, and all subjects shall be so advised of the decision.

If the secretary refuses a request for administrative review or does not act within the prescribed time, the perpetrator or school employee shall have the right to appeal and request a hearing before the secretary to amend or expunge an indicated report on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with the law. The request for hearing must be made within 90 days of notice of the decision. The appropriate county agency and appropriate law enforcement officials shall be given notice of the hearing. The burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the appropriate county agency. The department shall assist the county agency as necessary.

A person named as a perpetrator in a founded report of child abuse must provide to the department a court order indicating that the underlying adjudication that formed the basis of the founded report has been reversed or vacated. The department or county agency shall provide a person making an appeal with evidence gathered during the child abuse investigation within its possession that is relevant to the child abuse determination. The department or county agency shall bear the burden of proving by substantial evidence that the report should remain categorized as an indicated report.

The administrative law judge's or hearing officer's decision in a hearing shall be entered, filed, and served upon the parties within 45 days of the date upon which the proceeding or hearing is concluded. Notice of the decision shall be made to the statewide database, the appropriate county agency, any appropriate law enforcement officials, and all subjects of the report, except for the abused child. The secretary or designated agent may make any appropriate order respecting the amendment or expunction of such records to make them accurate or consistent with the requirements of this chapter.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 6337; 6338(b); 6338.1

A report shall be maintained for 1 year then expunged under the following circumstances:

  • It is determined to be unfounded.
  • An investigation is unable to determine whether it is founded, indicated, or unfounded.
  • It is an unfounded report for which the county agency has accepted the family for services.
  • It is determined to be invalid.

Reports that are determined to be valid but are not accepted for services shall be maintained for 5 years then expunged. Valid reports that are accepted for services shall be maintained for 5 years after the closure of services then expunged.

All information that identifies the subjects of founded and indicated child abuse reports shall be expunged when the subject child reaches age 23.

The name of a person who is the subject of an indicated report who was under age 18 when he or she committed the abuse shall be expunged from the statewide database when he or she reaches age 21 or 5 years have elapsed, whichever is later, as follows:

  • The person has not been named as a perpetrator in any subsequent indicated report.
  • The person has never been convicted or adjudicated as delinquent for an offense he or she committed under § 6344(c).
  • The child abuse did not involve the use of a deadly weapon.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any of the following:

  • A perpetrator who is the subject of a founded report of child abuse
  • A sexually violent delinquent child who is required to register as a sexual offender or was found delinquent as a result of the same acts that resulted in child being named a perpetrator of child abuse
  • A juvenile offender who is required to register as a sex offender for the same acts that resulted in being named a perpetrator of child abuse and who has not been removed from the statewide registry of sexual offenders