We've written before about the clash between the purposes of expungement and the never-sleeping-all-seeing-backward-looking Eye of the Internet. ("What's the Value of Expungement If News Lives Forever on the Internet?"). Yesterday, Eugene Volokh flagged a brand new case on the subject from Connecticut, in which the federal district judge tossed a defamation action against a newspaper that published (true) information about an arrest that was subsequently deemed not to have happened pursuant to the state's "deemer" law. The opinion cited this emphatic reasoning from a 2011 New Jersey state court decision:
[t]he expungement statute does not transmute a once-true fact into a falsehood. It does not require the excision of records from the historical archives of newspapers or bound volumes of reported decisions or a personal diary. It cannot banish memories. It is not intended to create an Orwellian scheme whereby previously public information—long maintained in official records— now becomes beyond the reach of public discourse on penalty of a defamation action.