Volunteer to Prepare Expunction Petitions Remotely

By Rachel Royal 

On March 9, 2024, the Charlotte Expunction Clinic will again be held at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. This project is a partnership of the following organizations: the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (the “Advocacy Center”), the SelfServe Center, and the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and Public Defender’s Office. During the clinics, volunteer public defenders offer advice to applicants regarding their eligibility for expunction relief under North Carolina law.

The project has held seven prior clinics since 2019. Since August 2021, paralegals have been utilized to review criminal records and attorney analysis forms and to prepare petitions for attorney review.

Volunteers can expect the following from the experience:

  • A live training on February 12, 2024, from noon to 1 p.m. (worth 1 hour of CPE credit);
    • Those unable to attend the session live can get access to the recorded training, but this will not count for CPE credit;
  •  An optional live office hour with the Advocacy Center staff attorney, Courtney Viebrock, on February 16 at noon during the petition-drafting period;
  • Petitions will be assigned to paralegal volunteers on or after February 12, 2024;
  • Links to a case management system (Airtable) that will allow access to:
    • an on-demand training;
    • analysis forms;
    • blank petitions; and
    • an upload link to submit completed petitions for review.
  • Drafted petitions should be submitted by close of business on February 26, 2024.

The petitions drafted by each paralegal will be reviewed by the Advocacy Center, and then explained to the client during the clinic by a volunteer public defender. The clients will then use the petitions to file pro se for relief with the Mecklenburg County Clerk’s Office. All work completed by paralegals will have attorney oversight, and malpractice insurance is provided by the Pro Bono Resource Center.

Register to volunteer at this link by February 10, 2024. Please email Courtney Viebrock and Madelyn Smith with any questions.


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