Truancy FAQ

Is Section 3 of the bill regarding expunction rendered ineffective by the effective date language in Section 42?

SECTION 3 of HB 2398 calls for the expunction of all failure-to-attend-school case records in cases in which: (1) the student was convicted; or (2) the case was dismissed.  This expunction is for cases under the old law.

SECTION 42 of HB 2398 states that “[t]he changes in law made by this Act apply only to an offense committed or conduct that occurs on or after the effective date of this Act.”  The act is effective September 1, 2015.

Because the expunction provision in SECTION 3 deals with cases that were in existence prior to September 1, 2015, there is a question as to whether SECTION 3 is effective.

The argument that SECTION 3 is ineffective in light of SECTION 42 is not a spurious one.  However, the intent of the Legislature was that the expunction provision be effective.  There is a rule of statutory construction that assumes the Legislature will not engage in a useless act.  The expunction provision in SECTION 3 would be useless if SECTION 42 were found to trump SECTION 3.  It is best to go forward with the idea that SECTION 3 is valid. (Ted Wood, Office of Court Administration)