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The expunction process is the final step to clear the arrest record. Even though a person is acquitted or his case is dismissed by a court order, the record of arrest continues to exist electronically and in certain court documents. There are about 17 different agencies that have this record in addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The process requires that a civil lawsuit be filed in a district court. Each of the agencies must be served with a copy of the lawsuit and a clerk's record of process. They are usually served by certified mail, return receipt requested. When the letter is received by the agency they sign for it, and the certified mail receipt is returned to the clerk's office.