Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 412

Public Act No. 02-29

AN ACT CONCERNING RECORD RETENTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 51-36 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2002):

(a) The Chief Court Administrator may cause any and all court records, papers or documents other than records concerning title to land, required to be retained indefinitely or for a period of time defined by (1) rules of court, (2) directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, or (3) statute, to be microfilmed. The device used to reproduce such records on film shall be one which accurately reproduces the original thereof in detail. Such microfilm shall be considered and treated the same as the original records, papers or documents, provided a certificate of authenticity appears on each roll of microfilm. A transcript, exemplification or certified copy thereof shall for all purposes be deemed to be a transcript, exemplification or certified copy of the original. The original court records, papers or documents so reproduced may be disposed of in such manner as approved by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator. For purposes of this subsection, microfilm shall include microcard, microfiche, microphotograph, electronic medium or any other process which actually reproduces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original.

(b) [Any] Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any judge of the Superior Court may order that official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in said court, the Court of Common Pleas or the Circuit Court, including official notes and tapes of evidence or judicial proceedings concerning title to land, taken more than seven years prior to the date of such order by any stenographer or official court reporter, be destroyed by the person having the custody thereof.

(c) (1) In cases in which a person has been convicted after trial of a felony, other than a capital felony, the official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in the court may be destroyed upon the expiration of twenty years from the date of disposition of such case or upon the expiration of the sentence imposed upon such person, whichever is later.

(2) In cases in which a person has been convicted after trial of a capital felony, the official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in the court may be destroyed upon the expiration of twenty-five years from the death of such person.

[(c)] (d) All court records other than records concerning title to land may be destroyed in accordance with rules of court. Records concerning title to land shall not be subject to any such destruction, except that official notes and tapes of evidence or judicial proceedings concerning title to land may be destroyed. All court records may be transferred to any agency of this state or to any federal agency in accordance with rules of court or directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided records in any action concerning title to land terminated by a final judgment affecting any right, title or interest in real property shall be retained for not less than forty years in the office of the clerk of the court location in which the judgment was rendered. Any other Judicial Department books, records, papers or documents may be destroyed or transferred to any agency of this state or to any federal agency in accordance with directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "official records of evidence or judicial proceedings" includes the court file from which no documents have been removed, all exhibits from the parties whether marked for identification or admitted as full exhibits and the transcripts of all proceedings held in the matter including voir dire.

Approved May 6, 2002