Legislation recently passed both chambers that would allow someone to file a sealing petition even if they owed fines on that case. Previously, that was not allowed. HB5341 states, in relevant part, that:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall not deny a petition for sealing under this Section because the petitioner has not satisfied an outstanding legal financial obligation established, imposed, or originated by a court, law enforcement agency, or a municipal, State, county, or other unit of local government, including, but not limited to, any cost, assessment, fine, or fee. An outstanding legal financial obligation does not include any court ordered restitution to a victim under Section 5-5-6 of the Unified Code of Corrections, unless the restitution has been converted to a civil judgment. Nothing in this subparagraph (C) waives, rescinds, or abrogates a legal financial obligation or otherwise eliminates or affects the right of the holder of any financial obligation to pursue collection under applicable federal, State, or local law.”

If this legislation becomes law, this will positively impact those who wish to have their cases sealed even when they still owe fines, fees, and/or costs on their case. To see the full text of the bill, click here.