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Mistakes on CORI

What kinds of mistakes can show up on my CORI?

Mistakes about your personal information may include:

  • mistakes in spelling your name
  • listing a name that is not your name
  • listing an “alias” (fake name) that you never useda wrong birthday,
  • the wrong place listed for where you were born,
  • a wrong Social Security number, or
  • other mistakes

Information about what happened in your cases also may be wrong:

  • Closed cases may be listed as still open.
  • Cases where you were found “not guilty” may be listed as “dismissed.”
  • There may be cases on the CORI report that are not yours.

How do I fix mistakes on my CORI?

At the court where your case was heard, you can ask a probation officer to fix some mistakes.

If a case on your CORI is listed as open, but it is really closed, you can ask a probation officer to fix the mistake. Probation officers can also fix misspellings and small mistakes.

Other ways to fix mistakes on CORI:

Errors and warrants

A case may be listed as open because it looks like you did not:

  • pay a fine,
  • pay court costs or
  • show up for a hearing.

If a case is listed as open, check your CORI report to see if there is a “W” in the status column on the right of the page. W stands for warrant.

If you see a warrant on your CORI report, get help from a lawyer immediately. If you have a warrant, you can be arrested by the police and held in jail.

If you cannot afford a lawyer to help you with the warrant and your criminal case, see the Committee for Public Counsel’s Private Counsel Division's County Bar Advocate Program for a list of court appointed attorney programs near the court where your case is going on.

Removing someone else's cases from your CORI and correcting court errors

It is possible that another person’s criminal case shows up on your CORI report. This can happen when people have similar names or the same birthdays, or if a person gave a fake name when arrested. The police or court staff also may have typed the wrong information into the computer or made other mistakes.

Check your CORI report to see if all the cases are yours. Make a list of the docket numbers and the name of each court for each case that is not yours. Some things you can do to fix the mistakes are:

  1. Call the probation office at the court where the cases were heard and ask for help fixing your record. You can find a list of courts and their phone numbers on the Massachusetts Courts website.
  2. Call the Office of the Commissioner of Probation at 617-727-5300 and explain that you want to talk to someone about correcting mistakes on your CORI.
  3. Call the DCJIS CORI Unit:(617) 660-4640 and ask for help. Or fill out the Massachusetts Incorrect Criminal Offender Information Complaint form. See DJCIS guidelines on how to fix incorrect CORI Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record.
  4. If the probation officer or DCJIS does not help you fix the mistake, you will need to ask the court where the case was heard to fix the mistake. The court staff will probably tell you that you have to file a motion. You can get a list of courts and their phone numbers on the Massachusetts Courts website.

Important

It is important to look at the court file for your case. The court file may make it easier to show that the case does not belong to you. A police report in the court file may have a photo or a description of the person accused of the crime.

The police who made the arrest may be able to give you more information. You can ask the police to take your fingerprints and compare them to those in the police file for the case. If the police have a photo of the person who was arrested, you can use the photo to show that you are not the same person.

If you are a victim of identity theft

If a person used your name when they got arrested or went to court, the case may appear on your CORI.

Six steps you can take to get the case or cases taken off your CORI:

  1. Report the identity theft to your local police department or the Massachusetts State Police as soon as possible. Be sure to get a copy of the police report.
  2. Get the Massachusetts Incorrect Criminal Offender Information Complaint form from the DCJIS web site, or call the DCJIS (617) 660-4600 or (617) 660-4640 and ask them to mail the forms to you.
    1. See DJCIS guidelines on how to fix mistakes in CORI Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record.
  3. Fill out the form. Make sure your handwriting can be read or type the form.
  4. Send the following papers to DCJIS:
    ☐ Complaint form,
    ☐ Copy of your photo identification. (driver’s license, passport, other I.D.),
    ☐ Copy of the police report, and
    ☐ Copies of any court documents or other papers that show that your identity was stolen or the case should not be under your name.
  5. Answer questions from DCJIS workers who are looking into the case. They may have you come in for an interview. You may get fingerprinted.
Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated October 2015