APPEAL FROM BULLITT CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE RODNEY BURRESS, JUDGE ACTION NO. 11-CR-00261
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moore, Judge:
RENDERED: MAY 10, 2013; 10:00 A.M.
BEFORE: MOORE, NICKELL, AND TAYLOR, JUDGES.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky appeals the Bullitt Circuit Court's order granting Ricky Davis's motion to expunge the records in this case pertaining to his arrest, fingerprints, photographs, and index references or other data. After a careful review of the record, we reverse and remand because the motion to expunge was improperly granted.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Davis was indicted on the charge of wanton endangerment in the first degree after allegedly backing his semi truck onto a railroad track and damaging one of the rails, which then allegedly caused a train to derail. The indictment was ultimately dismissed with prejudice. More than sixty days later, Davis moved to expunge the following records pertaining to this case: His arrest record, fingerprints, photographs, and index references or other data.
The Commonwealth opposed the motion, arguing that, pursuant to KRS*fn1 431.076(4), Davis's record could not be expunged because there was "a civil lawsuit filed with the U. S. District Court in Cincinnati numbered 1:2011cv00519 and styled CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Bearcat Xpress, Inc., Moore Brother Services, Inc. and Rick Davis." (Italics added). The Commonwealth contended that the civil action was still pending in Cincinnati, and that the civil action "related to the matter sought to be expunged." It argued that "[i]f the Court expunged this record much of the information regarding the civil case would be sealed. Reports of law enforcement involved in this case would no longer be available for use in the civil proceeding."
The circuit court granted Davis's motion to expunge. The court reasoned that the matter before it "relates to criminal wrongdoing and there are no pending charges or proceedings related to the alleged criminal conduct," so KRS 431.076 did not bar the court from granting the motion to expunge.
The Commonwealth now appeals, contending that KRS 431.076(4) is applicable and, according to that statute, Davis's case should not have been expunged.
This appeal involves the interpretation of a statute. Statutory construction is an issue of law and, accordingly, we review the circuit court's statutory construction de novo. See Cumberland Valley Contractors, Inc. v. ...