Expungement orders overturned, Pa. newspapers won't be required to remove content

PENNSYLVANIA — Two Centre County judges have overturnedexpungement orders directed at The Daily Collegian at Pennsylvania StateUniversity and The Centre Daily Times that would require them to removeonline content from their archives.

This morning, Judge Thomas King Kistler removed the two newspapers fromorders directing them to delete archived stories of county defendants formerlyconvicted of criminal charges, according to Patty Hartranft, interim generalmanager of The Daily Collegian. Kistler signed two of the five originalorders. Judge Bradley P. Lunsford had signed the other three orders, but vacatedthe provisions including the newspapers on Tuesday.

“This was a needless case,” Bob Heisse, executive editor of theCDT, said. “It was an attorney who just took it upon his office to changethese things and put them past judges. It became a First Amendment case, and itshould never have been that.”

Heisse said that more than 40 other expungement orders requiring TheDaily Collegian and the CDT to delete online content were submitted to thecourts by the same law office. Judges say they are on the lookout for theseorders so the appropriate revisions can be made.

“I want to thank the people around the country who have supportedthis effort,” Heisse said. “There has been a lot of support forthis, and that is very refreshing.”