In Housing & Redevelopment Authority of Duluth, MN v. Young, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that district courts have the inherent authority to expunge judicially held eviction records. Young was evicted from an apartment. After his eviction, he became homeless and claimed resulting harm to his mental and physical health. Moreover, while housed, he had received care from a personal-care assistant, which he could no longer have without a home. Instead of seeking expungement of his record under various statutory criteria, he sought expungement under the court’s inherent authority. In holding that the district court had inherent expungement authority, the court of appeals laid out a balancing test to determine whether records could be expunged, which considers the: (1) benefit to the petitioner; (2) disadvantages to the public; and (3) burden on the court regarding the expungement order. Courts are directed to “consider all relevant factors” in conducting the balancing test, including:
- the extent that a petitioner has demonstrated difficulties in securing
housing as a result of the records sought to be expunged;
- the seriousness and nature of the reason for eviction;
- the potential risk that the petitioner poses and how this affects the public’s
right to access the records;
- any additional eviction-related offenses or rehabilitative efforts since the
- other objective evidence of hardship under the circumstances.
The case was remanded back to the district court to apply the balancing test.
If you are looking for assistance in the eviction process, as either a landlord or tenant, contact Farrish Johnson Law Office.