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CLS Blog: Automated Sealing in Action


CLS Blog: Automated Sealing in Action

Like one in three Pennsylvanians, Mr. Amos has a criminal record.  Even though the charges against him were dismissed, they still remained on his record and affected his ability to find work. 

Today, Mr. Amos’ record is sealed.  Mr. Amos didn’t hire an attorney, file a motion, pay any filing fees, or go to court.  Mr. Amos’s record was sealed by an automated process under Pennsylvania’s historic Clean Slate law. 

Automated sealing started on June 28, 2019. Cases will be sealed based on the date they were resolved, with more recent cases being sealed first. Now, less than a month after automated sealing began, courts are busy sealing the 5 million most recent cases. Most cases dating from 2009 to 2019 have already been sealed. By June 27, 2020, over 30 million cases will benefit from sealing.

Mr. Amos was ecstatic when he heard the news. “Knowing my record is sealed means so much. A huge weight has been lifted off of me. I can finally go for a better job, with benefits and a union and the ability to move up. I can finally provide for my family. I’ve been stuck in a dead-end job. Now this opens all new doors for me.”

Want to know whether your record will be sealed? Charges that are eligible for Clean Slate automated sealing include:

  • Charges that did not lead to conviction (dismissed, not guilty, withdrawn)
  • Convictions for summary offenses that are at least 10 years old
  • Convictions for some nonviolent, low-level misdemeanors that are at least 10 years old, if there have been no misdemeanor or felony convictions in the last 10 years

Court fines and fees must be paid before charges can be sealed.  Learn more and sign up for our step-by-step guide at