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(730 ILCS 5/5-5.5-15)
Certificates of relief from disabilities issued by courts.
(a) Any circuit court of this State may issue a
relief from disabilities to an eligible offender for a conviction that
occurred in that court if the court imposed the sentence. The certificate may be issued (i) at the time
sentence is pronounced, in which case it may grant relief from
disabilities, or (ii) at any time
thereafter, in which case it shall apply only to disabilities.
(b) The certificate may not be issued by the court unless the court
is satisfied, based on clear and convincing evidence, that:
(1) the person to whom it is to be granted is an
eligible offender, as defined in Section 5-5.5-5;
(2) the relief to be granted by the certificate is
consistent with the rehabilitation of the eligible offender; and
(3) the relief to be granted by the certificate is
consistent with the public interest.
(c) If a certificate of relief from disabilities is not issued at
the time sentence is pronounced it shall only be issued thereafter upon
verified application to the court. The court may, for the purpose of
determining whether the certificate shall be issued, request the
probation or court services department to conduct an investigation of the
applicant. Any probation officer
requested to make an investigation under this Section shall
prepare and submit to the court a written report in accordance with the
(d) Any court that has issued a certificate of relief from disabilities
may at any time issue a new certificate to enlarge the relief previously
granted provided that the provisions of clauses (1)
through (3) of subsection (b) of this Section apply to the issuance of
any such new certificate.
(e) Any written report submitted to the court under this Section
is confidential and may not be made available to any person or public or
private agency except if specifically required or permitted by
statute or upon specific authorization of the court. However, it shall
be made available by the court for examination by the applicant's
attorney, or the applicant himself or herself, if he or she has no attorney. In
its discretion, the court may except from disclosure a part or parts of the
report that are not relevant to the granting of a certificate, or
sources of information which have been obtained on a promise of
confidentiality, or any other portion of the report, disclosure of which
would not be in the interest of justice. The action of the court excepting
information from disclosure shall be subject to appellate review. The
court, in its discretion, may hold a conference in open court or in
chambers to afford an applicant an opportunity to controvert or to
comment upon any portions of the report. The court may also conduct a
summary hearing at the conference on any matter relevant to the granting
of the application and may take testimony under oath.
(f) An employer is not civilly or criminally liable for an act or omission by an employee who has been issued a certificate of relief from disabilities, except for a willful or wanton act by the employer in hiring the employee who has been issued a certificate of relief from disabilities.
(Source: P.A. 96-852, eff. 1-1-10.)