Publicly reporting expunged conviction records does not create liability for defamation if the information disclosed is true, according to the New Jersey Supreme Court . In the case, a political campaign publicized the expunged drug conviction of an opponent’s aide in a flyer.
The Court ruled that defendants in this case were entitled to assert truth as a defense to the defamation and other related tort actions, even though the plaintiff’s conviction was subject to an expungement order. Second, the plaintiff failed to establish that the flyers were not substantially accurate. Lastly, the plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of privacy that information so long in the public domain before the entry of the expungement order would be erased from the public’s mind or from papers already widely disseminated.