Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. You wil
note our disclaimer that we cannot provide legal advice in this forum.
A qualified attorney is the best source of information.
As it turns out however I can qualify what I know about this situation
by first letting you know that I am a certified NCIC terminal operator
and I have held an advanced certification for some 25 years. I?m not
only well versed in the advanced application of the system but I also
supervised a terminal site for many of those years and taught various
aspects of the system to novice operators as well.
That said, I believe the information that Mary conveyed to you about
what the ?officer? told her was either misunderstood by her or
misinformed on the part of the officer. Let me explain:
Each National Crime Information Center (NCIC) terminal has it?s own
Originating Agency Identifier (ORI), a unique a nine-character
identifier assigned by the FBI NCIC to an agency and more specifically
to each terminal within that agency. In today?s vernacular this would
be similar to a unique telephone number, license number or email
address. Typically when a record is entered into NCIC via the National
Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) that record can only
be purged by the entering ORI. There are two exceptions to this rule:
-- Some agencies have an administrative terminal which can purge
records entered at any terminal within their own agency.
-- Some NCIC records such as missing persons, some firearms, and
other unaccounted for articles are automatically purged by the system
when a locating agency places a ?locate? on them notifying the
entering ORI that the person/article has been found.
With regard to warrants, restraining orders and other similar writs,
it is only the entering ORI that can modify, delete or amend the
record. Having said that, when I read that the officer told Mary that
he ?that he THOUGHT (indicating uncertainty) this information was on
her NCIC record and active, but he WOULD PUT A MSG IN indicating that
it was vacated?, I immediately suspected on of them or both of them
did not understand the process.
What the officer might be able to do is to send an NLETS
Administrative Message (AM) to the entering ORI (similar to a standard
email) indicating that there is a discrepancy with the record. This
would, in no way, directly affect the record, modify it or delete it.
In fact, without credible and authoritative information to support his
message, the truth is that the message could very well have simply
been disregarded, especially if it were received after normal business
hours when the discrepancy could not be researched or confirmed. On
the other hand, the officer may not have sent the message at all and
disregarded the whole issue himself.
In short, there is not much Mary can do ON HER OWN to resolve this
problem unless she is willing to boldly demand a correction (I?ll get
to that in a moment). The entering ORI must modify or delete the
record from the entering terminal (or admin terminal) where the entry
originated. Only THEY have the authority to do this. Otherwise the
integrity of all NCIC records in the Domestic Violence Restraining
Order System (DVROS) and other archives would be vulnerable to
malicious, accidental or unscrupulous manipulation.
I suspect the lingering record is simply an oversight that can be
corrected in the few minutes. I recommend Mary do one or more of the
Physically pay a visit to the Court Clerk and explain the problem. She
should request some type of written confirmation or other
authoritative assurance that the record has been modified to reflect
it?s change of status or deleted. If the Court Clerk cannot (or will
not) provide this confirmation she should request to speak to the
Judge who entered the order, the Prosecuting Attorney, or the County
Judge (who, in most counties, is the Chief County Official and in
essence the County Clerk?s ?boss?. Mary should explain politely but
firmly to these ?elected officials? that her right to travel freely
has been infringed upon (it doesn?t matter that she is a green card
holder) because of some technical oversight and it is repeatedly
causing her to be unlawfully detained. I?m sure this will approach (if
necessary) will get some needed attention - If you get my meaning.
If this does not get satisfaction, Mary should consult an attorney,
who in turns can draft a letter to the court explaining the
potentially severe legal ramifications of such an oversight and demand
that the parties responsible correct the misinformation immediately.
If necessary he can threaten to file a lawsuit (but my guess is that a
cleverly worded letter on his firm?s letterhead will likely do the
trick since government entities and officials hate being sued).
So, in answer to your question, basically Mary needs to insist that
the record be corrected by the authorities responsible for that
record. If it requires an attorney then so be it, but she may get the
same results ?on her own? (for lack of a better term). Tell her to
make sure she is polite but firm and to insist on having some type of
confirmation that what she requested was actually done.
I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher
Information provided was based on 25 years of law enforcement
experience and specifically by virtue of direct experience in the
particular field in question.
Clarification of Answer by
26 Sep 2006 14:41 PDT
If she is unable to get a satisfactory response from the entering
agency, it may become NECESSARY to enlist the aid of an attorney, even
if it costs a little bit. As I said, a letter from an attroney
probably wouldn't cost much and at the very least the authrities would
respond in writing and Mary would have THAT as proof the restraining
order was vacated.
It's also possible that the "officer" reading the printout (yes, on
both occassions) may not have read it correctly. As you say, he didn't
seem to know much about the issue to begin with.
As for the issue being on her record, well, that's another issue
entirely and outside the scope of your original question. I'm sure an
attorney could best answer it for you depanding on the laws of the
state and how they might apply to a green card holder. Before I went
any further I'd have an attorney verify that the order is incorrectly
still active - it may not be and this may all simply be a mistake on
the officers' part. Then I'd seek to have some kind of written
response from someone that the matter has been corrected. Like it or
not, this may involve an attorney.
Best of luck. I look forward to your rating and your closing comments.