What is a nondisclosure order?
A nondisclosure order is a court order prohibiting public entities such as courts and police departments from disclosing certain criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you may benefit from obtaining such an order. You are not required to disclose information related to an offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.
Please note that a nondisclosure order applies to a particular criminal offense. The order does not apply to all offenses that may be on your criminal history record, but you may obtain multiple orders of nondisclosure for multiple offenses.
As mentioned above, a nondisclosure order prohibits entities holding information about a certain offense on your criminal history record from disclosing that information. This is a general rule. There are exceptions. Certain state agencies may still obtain information concerning an offense that is the subject of a nondisclosure order.
Please click the link below for more an overview of nondisclosures in Texas.
The information, instructions, and forms provided in this resource assume that you have:
Determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements to get a nondisclosure order AND
Identified the type of nondisclosure, if any, that applies to your specific offense.
Section 411.0727 nondisclosures in detail
This section is only for those who complete a veterans treatment court program. You must also meet the basic requirements for getting a nondisclosure.
How to get a nondisclosure order under Section 411.0727?
In order to get an nondisclosure, you must first file a Petition for an Order of Nondisclosure with the court that handled the offense. File it online at efiletexas.gov or in person with the court clerk.
You will have to pay a filing fee that can vary from county to county. Please check with the clerk of the court to determine the exact filing fee.
If you are low income, you may file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs (also known as a "fee waiver") in lieu of paying a filing fee. You can click here for the fee waiver form.
Be aware that even if you qualify to apply for a nondisclosure order, the judge will decide whether or not to grant it.
Below you will find a petition form along with instructions. You can fill in the blanks on the form by typing your answers in the spaces provided. You may also handwrite your answers so long as you do so clearly.
Your petition does not need to be notarized.
File your completed petition with the court that handled your case, either electronically at www.efiletexas.gov, or with the court clerk in person. You can also contact the court clerk to ask if you may mail in the Petition.
What happens after I file my Petition for a nondisclosure order?
Once you have filed your petition, you do not need to provide notice to anyone else. The court clerk will tell the Texas prosecutor's office that you filed.
The State of Texas may request a hearing on your petition. Even if the State does not request a hearing, the judge may still decide to hold one.
Be sure to attend the hearing, if any. Keep your contact information up to date with te court clerk so the court can contact you.
Whether or not there is a hearing, the judge will decide:
Whether you meet the requirements to file the petition. If you do not, the court cannot give you a nondisclosure order.
Whether giving you a nondisclosure order "is in the best interest of justice".
If the judge gives you nondisclosure order, the court clerk will send a copy to you and any organization listed in the order.
Who do I contact if I have questions about this process?
If you need legal advice, you should contact a lawyer. It is always best to hire a lawyer. A lawyer will be in the best position to advise you as to what you should do. Without the advice and help of a lawyer, you might file improper paperwork or say something wrong in court. This may cause your petition for an order of nondisclosure to be denied.
Please click the link below for information on limited scope representation for information on a good way to contact a lawyer for help.
If you have questions about the form, please contact the Texas Office of Court Administration at (512) 463-1625.
What happens after the court grants me a nondisclosure order?
The clerk will send a copy of the nondisclosure order to DPS. DPS will then send the order to a number of other government agencies.
You may also want to tell private background-check companies to remove your record from their databases. One way to do this is to contact the Foundation for Continuing Justice at www.continuingjustice.org.
Forms and Instructions Below
NOTE: It is a good idea to have a lawyer review your forms before you file or send them to ensure you have taken the right steps in the legal system. Please click the link below for information on limited scope representation for information on a good way to contact a lawyer for help.
Please click below to get forms and instructions for this type of nondisclosure order.