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  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    Default How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    My question involves expungements or pardons for the state of: new york..nassau county.

    I had a suicide attempt in 2003. I am a licensed teacher now and dont want this popping up in background checks. It doesnt come up in criminal checks because i didnt commit a crime, but comes up in what they call tier two background checks in which you have to list all police contacts even if they dont result in legal action against you. The police respond but no legal action is taken; no arrest and no prosecution since no law is broken. It simply gets a case# and is still there for anyone to see. The Nassau county police in NY still release this info.

    People have predjudices against this type of thing and while I received my teching license, Im not getting interviews from school I apply to because of this. I consider it a medical issue and the police report should simply say that they responded for a medical call....ambulance dispatced.

    How can I get police reports removed from my background checks? Does anyone know of a website with info to direct me to an attorney if I need one? Is there a proceedure that I can go through without getting an attorney?

    Is there any type of waiting period for reports filed where no action is taken against me to get them removed? I find it hard to believe that anyone can make a phone call and have a police report filed and it becomes part of your record even without having commiting a crime.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    I'm not sure there's much you can do. There is no basis for expunging or pardoning because those address criminal convictions/charges. You were not charged with anything. The police are required to document, truthfully, their activities. You, by your own admission, attempted to commit suicide. These reports are, generally speaking, public record and the authorities are required to release it if they receive proper authorization to do so.

    You might want to consult a criminal defense attorney to see if anything can be done. The problem is that suicide is,many times, the result of a mental imbalance on the part of the person doing it. That creates a difficult situation for school systems who must protect their students. I'm not saying they believe you're going to directly hurt the students but that you might be driven to re-attempt suicide in their presence. If that is the only time you've had that problem, maybe you could get a mental health provider to attest to it.

    My mother in law went through something similar. She did not attempt but her principal thought she did so she was not allowed back to school until she got a release from a mental health professional attesting to her state of mind.

    And yes, if someone calls the police, the responding officer feels it merits an official report, and documents it in a report it is there forever. In the old days, paper reports might have been lost, misplaced or thrown out but everything is going digital these days. It depends on the department's records retention policies. And even then the digital 911 call record may remain. Not necessarily part of your record per se, just a publicly accessible documentation of your interaction with authorities that a thorough background check will find.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    I dont get it. So an individual who commits a misdemeanor and gets convicted can get that wiped away but a person who has call made about someone and isnt convicted of anything cant get that wiped away?

    Or are you saying the police reports made out about someone who gets a conviction will always be there too even after an expungement clears their criminal record? Maybe Im misunderstanding the difference between a crimnal record and a thorough background check?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    An expungement can require that all paperwork associated with the case, to include an officer's report, be destroyed. That being said, if another department for some reason has obtained information on the case it may get missed. Also an officer almost never destroys their personal notes.

    Yes there is a sort of difference. A straight criminal background check will only see what comes up when you go to local law enforcement and request a background check on someone (which you can only do if a. its you or b. you have written permission from the party in question). Even then, a more thorough background check may not turn up every contact you've had with police unless you believe the conspiracy theories that say everyone has a master file with their entire life in it. Background check agencies don't have the time manpower to check it all. If doing a thorough check, they will probably only go inquire at departments near/at where you list residences.

    You're in a bit of a sticky wicket because if you fail to disclose that contact and they find out...they can fire you for lying on your application. I'd be willing to bet the only reason they're finding it is b/c you told them OR they are talking to PDs near where you have lived.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    I heard of background checks finding police contact or police reports,the place running the check knew some police contact was made but not what happened but it does become sticky. Also your background check sounds like it's deeper,many times expunged or sealed records show up especially with computers these days. It becomes hard to delete every single file,may a newspaper article for example had information on it and someone could find it thru Google. You can try an expungement lawyer maybe they can help you with this.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    Thank you for posting and putting time into this. If anything else comes to mind, please share it.

    Quote Quoting free9man
    View Post
    I'd be willing to bet the only reason they're finding it is b/c you told them OR they are talking to PDs near where you have lived.
    Yes I disclosed all the places I lived. A driver's license history will show that anyway.

    As far as these private companies that get entire data bases of criminal info on the public which is a matter of public record, reports containing medical info are not for public record and thus in violation of HIPPA laws. If the police department gave reports containing medical info on me to public search companies they violate this. No release was signed when the police gave the data base to a private company with info on me. If a police report has a person's name in it and they are HIV+, that fact cant be disclosed in such a report for public search and neither should mine. In cases where it states the natre of the medical condition, the person's name is supposed to be omitted.

    It looks like I have to approach jobs with an open book approach and share the details and a lettter from psychiatrist/treatment showing Im good to go. I still feel depression is a private medical history issue just like an HIV+ person's info isnt shared info. The police record should show only that the police responded to a medical call and omit personal info as to what the medical issue is. Depression is medical not legal. The big mess about HIV+ people was all predjudice too. Parents didnt feel it was safe to have their child sit next to a HIV+ kid so they protested and the legal system ultimately made it illegal to not permit kids to go to chool because doctors have the last say as to what medical issues are safe or not. Fear still presides, thus the knowledge isnt to be shared (HIPPA laws). So why is it ok to list my medical info in a police report?

    I feel that contact was an ambulance dispatch/medical call since it wasnt a crime. It isnt listed in a criminal history check explaining how I got my educator license in two states in the first place. So when I get asked to list criminal history a medical call doesnt quite qualify.

    Quote Quoting free9man
    View Post
    The problem is that suicide is,many times, the result of a mental imbalance on the part of the person doing it. That creates a difficult situation for school systems who must protect their students. I'm not saying they believe you're going to directly hurt the students but that you might be driven to re-attempt suicide in their presence.
    How is this any different than a parent taking it upon themself to say a student is HIV+ and thus a danger to othersso they shouldnt be allowed to sit near their kid? Thats for a doctor to decide and not predjudicial parents doing background checks through private companies. Just about every application I see says to state medical conditions that you have had in the last 5 years. Something from 8 years ago isnt valid. When I sign a release for medical info its for that purpose and for the time period requested. If I sign a release for criminal background checks its for that purpose only. Teachers arent even allowed to know that a student in their class is HIV+.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    I am not very familiar with HIPAA but my reading of it indicated that only health care professionals are bound by it. Police are not. The police record reflects exactly what was dispatched...an attempted suicide. It reflects so that should there be further calls at the residence, the responding officers will be aware of the location/subject history. Depression is a valid medical condition that must be protected under HIPAA....for health care professionals. I believe it is in your best interest to find a lawyer who specializes in HIPAA and ask for a consultation.

    I was just guessing as to their reasons. I don't find them all that realistic either, just throwing out what MIGHT be going through their heads.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How Do I Remove Non-Criminal Police Reports from Background Checks

    As you may gather from my screen name, I am a retired police officer (13 years). Police are not even allowed to indicate to a another PO that someone you arrested said they were HIV+, had hepatitis, nothing. We were never allowed to give such medical info to each other let alone in a police report. School officials are not allowed to reveal if a student shared medical info (as per my teacher training in college). You may want to investigate that belief.

    Your advice on an attorney is good. I have long been aware of people's predjudices. We were denied an adoption because of it. Since they only requested medical info back 5 years, it would have been valid to not supply it but I did knowing it would come out due to this report so damages have already occured. If the info wasnt public, I would/could have omitted it due to it being over 5 years. Most job applications only ask this info back 5 years too.

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