United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR EXPUNGEMENT
Page Hood Chief Judge, United States District Court.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Paul Douglas
Momney's Request for Expungement of his criminal case. On
January 10, 1984, Momney entered a plea of guilty on two
counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. (Doc. No. 1, Pg
ID 5) On April 12, 1984, pursuant to the Federal Youth
Corrections Act (“FYCA”), 18 U.S.C. §
5010(a), Momney was sentenced to three years of probation,
with the first 120 days served at a community treatment
center. (Doc. No. 1, Pg ID 5) The FYCA provided that a
conviction may be set aside fo long as the offender avoided
additional contact with the criminal justice system during
the term of probation. 18 U.S.C. § 5010(a). On March 10,
1987, an Order and Certificate of Vacation of Conviction was
entered. (Doc. No. 1, Pg ID 6)
now seeks expungement of his criminal record. Momney
currently owns a small business involving custom travel
cases. Momney works with pro hockey teams in Canada and the
United States and his business is now starting to get work
from all levels of sports teams that travel. Momney claims
that if his criminal record is expunged, it would help him
get new accounts and do more work with sports teams that go
on the road.
Government filed a response opposing the request, arguing
that the Court lacks jurisdiction to grant Momney's
request to expunge his criminal record.
court must first determine whether it has jurisdiction over a
matter. Federal courts are tribunals of limited subject
matter jurisdiction. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). They may only hear
cases that invoke an independent basis of federal subject
matter jurisdiction. United States v. Field, 756
F.3d 911, 914 (6th Cir. 2014). Federal courts are also
permitted to entertain claims or incidental proceedings that
do not satisfy the requirements of an independent basis of
subject matter. Id. “Supplemental” or
“pendant” jurisdiction applies to claims asserted
in a pending federal-court case and allowed under 28
U.S.C. § 1367. Id. “Ancillary”
jurisdiction applies to related proceedings that are
technically separate from the initial case that invoked the
original federal subject-matter jurisdiction and is governed
by case law. Id.
expungement, federal statutes expressly permit federal courts
to expunge criminal records in limited areas, such as 18
U.S.C. § 3607(c) which permits expungement of criminal
records in certain cases involving drug possession. Another
area where expungement is allowed involves DNA records where
a court overturns a military conviction, 10 U.S.C. §
1565(e). Expungement of FBI DNA records in certain cases when
a conviction is overturned, 42 U.S.C. § 14132(d), is
Federal Youth Corrections Act, 18 U.S.C. § 5010(a),
provides that youthful offenders who are sentenced to
probation may have their convictions automatically “set
aside” where the district court grants an unconditional
discharge from probation “prior to the expiration of
the maximum period of probation ... fixed by the
court.” 18 U.S.C. § 5021(b) (1972). It also gives
a district court limited jurisdiction to exercise its
discretion retroactively to grant an early unconditional
discharge and to set aside a conviction after the completion
of the probationary period. See, Tuten v. United
States, 460 U.S. 460, 668 (1983). However, the FYCA
contains no provision for expungement of the record of
conviction after it has been set aside and the certificate
required by Section 5021(b) has been issued. See United
States v. Doe, 556 F.2d 391, 392 (6h Cir. 1977). The
Sixth Circuit noted that the district court had conferred the
full benefits of the FYCA, including vacating the conviction
and issuing a certificate indicating such. Id. at
393. The Sixth Circuit further noted that “Congress
could easily have provided for expungement in the FYCA it had
so intended.” Id.
Doe, the Sixth Circuit, in affirming the district
court's denial of the expungement of the defendant's
criminal records, stated in dicta that federal
courts have “inherent equitable powers ... to order the
expungement of a [criminal] record in an appropriate
case.” Id. at 393. Since Doe, the
Sixth Circuit has ruled that a district court's
ancillary jurisdiction to expunge records of
unlawful convictions or arrests is limited. Field,
756 F.3d at 915. Where there is no statutorily-grounded
permission to expunge, a federal court may assert ancillary
jurisdiction to expunge criminal records. Id.
(citing, United States v. Carey, 602 F.3d 738, 740
(6th Cir. 2010) (“An order on a motion to expunge a
conviction is within the equitable jurisdiction of the
federal district court.”)) However, the ambit of
ancillary jurisdiction to hear motions to expunge is limited.
Id. Federal courts lack ancillary jurisdiction over
motions for expungement that are grounded on purely equitable
considerations, such as motions alleging that the movant has
maintained good conduct and that the record of arrest harms
the movant's employment opportunities. Id.
(citing, United States v. Lucido, 612 F.3d 871, 874
(6th Cir. 2010)). Ancillary jurisdiction over such motions
does not enable a court “to manage its proceedings,
vindicate its authority, and effectuate its decrees.”
Id. (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 380 (1994)).
have not granted expungement based on the inability to obtain
employment, to legally possess a firearm, or to become a
lawful citizen of the United States, even though a defendant
has attained many accomplishments since conviction and has
lived a law abiding life. See United States v. Saah,
2007 WL 734984 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 8, 2007); United States
v. Ursery, 2007 WL 1975038 (E.D. Mich. Jul. 2, 2007);
United States v. Lind, 2006 WL 2087726 (E.D. Mich.
Jul. 25, 2006).
on Momney's request, it appears he has been a law-abiding
and productive citizen since his conviction. While the Court
understands Momney's desire to have his record expunged,
Momney's situation does not support the expungement of
his criminal record. The Court does not have ancillary
jurisdiction to order expungement of Momney's criminal
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Paul Douglas Momney's
Request for Expungement of his criminal record (Doc.
No. 2) is DENIED.
Defendant was sentenced by the late
United States District Judge Thomas J. ...