Earll Pott and Harold Trimmer Discuss Second Circuit Ruling on Expungement of Federal Convictions

In Jane Doe v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit overturned a federal district court’s decision granting a motion to expunge a woman’s 2001 felony fraud conviction. The Court’s ruling, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to render such a ruling, illustrates the difficulty defendants face in expunging federal convictions, even when it is the right thing to do.

Harold Trimmer
Harold C. Trimmer
Photo of Earll Pott
Earll M. Pott

SAN DIEGO, CA – The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit just handed down a far-reaching decision in Jane Doe v. United States that further restricts the ability for individuals to expunge federal convictions.

Klinedinst attorneys Earll Pott and Harold Trimmer have written a new Law Library article on the case, and the high stakes for all federal criminal defendants (particularly professionals in specialized industries) who, if convicted, are often unable to pursue their professions.

The case centered around a single mother who pled guilty to participating in a staged auto accident. She was placed on probation for five years. She successfully completed probation, but was unable to secure employment as a home health care professional due to her prior conviction. Jane Doe requested that her conviction be expunged, and the district court granted the motion given her successful completion of probation, and that she presented no heightened risk to health care employers or patients.

Upon appeal, the Second Circuit reversed the ruling, holding that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to even render such a ruling.

Klinedinst attorneys Harold Trimmer and Earll Pott have written a new article in the Klinedinst Law Library on Jane Doe v. United States. In their piece, Pott and Trimmer take a closer look at the Second Circuit Court’s decision, which sided with other Circuits that have held there is no federal statutory right to expunge a lawful felony conviction. Pott and Trimmer look at the ramifications of the ruling, and how federal law differs from California law when it comes to expungement.

The case is Jane Doe v. United States, 2d Cir. Aug. 15, 2016, No. 15-1967. To read the full article, please click on:

About Klinedinst

Klinedinst has become the go-to firm for clients across California, across the West, and across the globe. Our litigators, trial attorneys, and transactional lawyers guide clients through every problem, finding solutions at every turn. The firm serves clients from offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Ana, and Seattle. Whether representing businesses in court, helping negotiate transactions, or handling matters in state, federal, or appellate courts, Klinedinst attorneys help get the job done.