How to Expunge my Public Records in Kansas

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Deleting a public record implies removing every piece of evidence of such a public record. The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) allows the public to inspect and copy records maintained by public agencies. However, the freedom of access to the general public can negatively impact the lives of individuals who have records of past misconduct. Such persons may experience difficulty obtaining credit facilities, finding gainful employment, or securing professional licenses. As a result, they may attempt deleting such public records to restrict access from the public. The benefits of deleting a public record in Kansas include:

  • It prevents educational institutions from acting on negative information about a prospective student that will ordinarily appear on a background check if not deleted
  • It frees a convicted individual of employment barriers
  • It eliminates any negative information that a landlord would otherwise uncover by a background check on a potential tenant
  • It minimizes the impact that a previous conviction has on an individual's family relationships, friendships, and social relationships

However, it is essential to note that deleting a public record in Kansas is not legally possible. Certain records can only be taken off the public domain but may still be available under stipulated conditions.

What is a Public Record in Kansas?

According to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), public records are documents regardless of physical characteristics, form or location created, maintained, and kept by a public agency. Public records in Kansas include::

  • Criminal records
  • Death records
  • Birth records
  • Arrest records
  • Marriage records
  • Court records
  • Statistical data
  • Licensing records
  • Government financial records

Section 45-221 of the Act prevents certain records from public disclosure. Such records include:

  • Records which the rule of the Kansas Supreme Court, federal law, or state statute has prohibited explicitly from public disclosure
  • Records which may not be disclosed according to the rules of evidence except the holder of the record consents to public disclosure
  • Psychiatric, medical, alcoholism, or psychological drug dependency records which relate to identifiable patients
  • Performance ratings, personnel records, or individually identifiable records about employees or job applicants
  • Any information that will disclose the identity of an undercover agent
  • Any information that will reveal the identity of an informant reporting a violation of law
  • Letters of recommendation or reference regarding qualifications of an identifiable individual
  • Any information that will reveal the identity of an individual who makes an anonymous donation to a public agency

However, in Kansas, a person can choose to restrict public access to their records by applying to expunge or seal them.

Does Kansas allow Expungement?

Yes. Section 21-6614 of the Kansas Statutes allows an individual to legally expunge records of convictions and arrest records for a crime whose charges were later dropped. The statute also permits expungement for a person where the jury found them not guilty.

How do I Expunge My Criminal Record in Kansas?

To expunge a criminal record in Kansas, an offender must file a petition for expungement through the court that presided over their conviction. The court will determine if such a record is eligible for expungement. Individuals are eligible for Kansas criminal record expungement if the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  • They must have served their sentences in full, including any probation or parole
  • They must have paid every fine and fee associated with their convictions
  • At least three to five years must have passed since their cases were dismissed
  • They must be clear of any felony convictions within the past two years
  • They must not have pending felony cases

Records of individuals who were previously convicted of the following crimes cannot be expunged in Kansas:

  • Capital murder
  • Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter
  • Murder in the first or second degree
  • Rape
  • Sexual battery of an underage victim
  • Indecent liberties with a child
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Criminal sodomy
  • Sexual assault of a child
  • Aggravated incest
  • Abuse of a child
  • Indecent solicitation of a child
  • Endangering a child

To file a petition for Kansas criminal record expungement, the petitioner must do the following:

These documents must be completed and filed with the District Court and enclosed with the payment proof of required fees. The petitioner must pay a filing fee of $195 to the District Court, or between $50 and $200 for a case presided over by a Municipal Court. Once the court grants the petition to expunge a record, it will notify the relevant state and federal agencies to expunge such a record and treat it as though it never existed. A person who wants to file a Kansas arrest record expungement will follow the same process as criminal record expungement. At the hearing, the court may order the expungement of the petitioner's arrest, criminal or diversion record if the hearing proves the following:

  • The behavior and circumstances of the petitioner qualify them for an expungement
  • The expungement of the person’s record will not subject the public to any risk

Will My Expungement Record Show Up on a Background Check in Kansas?

When a record is expunged in Kansas, it does not show up on a background check. Typically,  an expunged record is removed from the public domain, limiting access to only specific circumstances. Upon receiving an expungement order, a public agency must respond to a background check as though the incident that created the record never occurred. Also, an individual whose record has been expunged need not mention it to a potential employer. It is a rule of thumb that employers should not conduct non-FCRA compliant background checks for employment purposes.

How to Seal a Record in Kansas

A sealed record is not deleted. It is only hidden to prevent public access. In Kansas, any public agency that receives an order to seal a record must do so, provided the individual named on it has met the required conditions.

To file a petition for Kansas arrest record sealing, the arrest must be a result of mistaken identity. The court is required to agree that there was no reason or probable cause to justify such an arrest. The application to seal the record must also prove that public access restriction will be in the best interest of justice. If a judge grants the application, all the government agencies with custody of the record must immediately restrict public access to such a record. The issuing court will equally seal the related court documents.

Some government agencies that may have custody of sealed records in Kansas include:

Who Can See My Sealed Record in Kansas?

Section 21-6614 of the Kansas Statutes grants some individuals and government agencies access to sealed records upon request. They include:

Any individual or agency authorized to view sealed records must treat such records with the highest degree of confidentiality.

How to Delete Bankruptcy Records in Kansas

In Kansas, bankruptcy records are public records. It is hard to delete a legitimate bankruptcy record from a person's credit report. However, an individual may take the necessary steps to delete an erroneously filed bankruptcy.  

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), an individual can challenge the following entries on their credit report:

  • Items that have stayed beyond the maximum time stipulated by law
  • Inaccurate reports
  • Items that the creditor cannot verify

In Kansas, an individual can file a petition to delete a bankruptcy record if:

  • Debts that have been previously settled still show up on their balance
  • The credit history shows a chapter 13 bankruptcy for more than seven years after the filing date
  • The credit history shows a chapter 7 bankruptcy for more than ten years after the filing date
  • There are errors such as wrong names, phone numbers, addresses, and dates on their bankruptcy record

Credit bureaus may also delete a bankruptcy record if it is a result of identity theft or mistaken identity. To delete an erroneous bankruptcy record in Kansas, an affected individual must file a report with the  U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee's office located at:

United States Bankruptcy Court

Robert J. Dole Courthouse

500 State Avenue

Kansas City, KS 66101

Phone: (913) 735-2110

Such a case is usually referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), after which the bankruptcy court reopens it. The petitioner will then uphold their claims in the court by presenting proof of fraud regarding the bankruptcy record.

What are Consumer Protection Laws in Kansas

In Kansas, consumer protection laws secure consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices. The Kansas Consumer Protection Act regulates consumer protection laws in Kansas. The Act makes provision to:

  • Simplify, clarify, and modernize the laws governing consumer transactions
  • Protect consumers from businesses who commit unconscionable and deceptive practices
  • Educate consumers and encourage fair business practices from service providers

Per this Act, consumers who are harmed by unconscionable or deceptive practices may act as their own “private attorney general” and may further take the necessary steps to protect their rights. Kansas does not have a general privacy Act. However, the following speaks to the issue of privacy in the state:

The Data Breach Requirements, among other things, stipulates that the residents of Kansas must be notified in the event of any breach of data confidentiality.

How to Delete Lien Records in Kansas

Creditors place liens on debtors’ tangible properties to secure their debts owed to them. However, this security may be lifted once debtors file lien release forms with the court. Interested persons may delete lien records in Kansas, provided they meet the requirements of such liens and file for lien release with the court.

All valid liens must be authorized by:

  • A court order
  • A state statute
  • A federal statute
  • The owner of the property, or the debtor through a signed document

To delete a lien record in Kansas, a debtor must pay their debt in full and obtain a lien release form from the court clerk. A completed lien release form should contain:

  • The creditor’s name
  • The debtor's name
  • The amount of debt settled and evidence of payment
  • The description and address of the property
    The lienholder must sign the lien release form under the supervision of a notary public, after which the debtor may file it. Kansas lien records are public records, and interested parties may access them at the County Register of Deeds Offices in Kansas. The County Register of Deeds Offices maintains all documents relating to tangible properties.

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