Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY Honorable Laura J.
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.
Missouri State Highway Patrol ("the
MSHP") appeals the trial court's judgment
expunging a criminal record of G.E.D. In one point, the MSHP
argues that the trial court erred in granting expungement in
that G.E.D. pled guilty to a subsequent misdemeanor less than
seven years after his felony conviction, rendering him
ineligible for expungement pursuant to section
610.140. Finding no merit in the MSHP's point,
we deny the same and affirm the judgment of the trial court.
and Procedural History
20, 2018, G.E.D. filed a petition in the Circuit Court of
Christian County seeking the expungement of his conviction
for the class C Felony of possession of a controlled
substance, in Christian County Case No. CR029700315. The MSHP
filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that expungement was
barred, pursuant to section 610.140, in that G.E.D. completed
disposition of his felony on November 3, 2003, and was
subsequently found guilty of a misdemeanor on March 27, 2007,
less than seven years after disposition of the felony
sentence for which he was seeking expungement.
hearing on the motion to dismiss was held on October 31,
2018, and was subsequently denied.
evidentiary hearing on the petition for expungement was held
on November 7, 2018. G.E.D. testified that he was seeking
expungement of his felony arrest that occurred on November
12, 1997, and that he completed his sentence on or about
November 3, 2003. G.E.D. admitted that he pled guilty to the
class B misdemeanor of failure to register a motor vehicle,
on or about March 27, 2007, in Greene County, Missouri.
November 8, 2018, the trial court entered judgment granting
the expungement. This appeal followed.
point on appeal, MSHP argues that the trial court erred in
granting expungement because the trial court lacked
discretion to do so pursuant to section 610.140.
Standard of Review
In this court-tried case, the judgment of the circuit court
will be affirmed unless there is no substantial evidence to
support it, it is against the weight of the evidence, or it
erroneously declares or applies the law. The trial
court's application of statutory requirements is a
question of law rather than fact and is reviewed de
S.Y. v. Askren, 581 S.W.3d 721, 722 (Mo.App. W.D.
MSHP's sole point, it argues that "the trial court
erred in granting expungement" in that "the trial
court had no discretion" to do so. MSHP argues that
section 610.140 should be interpreted to require that
"petitioner has not been found guilty of any other
disqualifying misdemeanor or felony for at least seven years
from the date the petitioner completed any authorized
disposition under section 557.011," and that G.E.D.
failed to meet that requirement because ...