Can wrongfully filed evictions be expunged from public records
Expungement for eviction
Recently on our forum we had a user ask, "When can I request an expungement of my eviction record?"
If you have been evicted from a rental property the eviction record may be placed on your civil record and your credit report. In some cases you may be able to have an eviction court case expunged from your record. An expungement allows a public record to be removed from public view. Keep in mind, state laws vary so it's always a good idea to consult the laws in your state, county and municipality.
When can I have an eviction case expunged?
Although state laws may vary, there are certain cases where an eviction can be expunged.
For instance, under Minnesota law, an expungement may be granted 1) if the court determines the landlord filed a bad eviction case, which means the landlord's case was "sufficiently without basis in fact or law" 2) the expungement is clearly in the interests of justice, and 3) there is no reason for other landlords to have information about the case.
Common cases which might meet the criteria outlined above include cases where the landlord is accused of retaliation, you were accused of violating the lease but you proved you did not, the landlord agreed that they filed their case due to a misunderstanding, or the case was dismissed by the court.
How to file an expungement to clear civil record
As mentioned above, the process to request an expungement for your eviction will vary by state. Unfortunately, the user did not provide additional information about where they live; general information about the process is offered below.
The first step to expunge the eviction is to go to the court house and request a copy of your eviction case. You may be required to pay a small fee. Next, determine if your landlord had a good case against you.
Next, you can request an Expungement Motion form and complete it. Make sure the names are filled out exactly the same as they are written on the Complaint and Court Order in the eviction case. Include your eviction case number and sign your motion in front of a notary. You can also provide information or evidence to support your case. Next, go to the District Court and submit your paperwork.
You will need to appear at the hearing with all necessary evidence to support your motion. You can also ask witnesses to testify at your hearing. If the court rules in your favor the case will be expunged. Be sure and validate the expungement has been done correctly.
Steps to clear your credit report
If you have an eviction on your credit report it can be disputed. The first step is to contact the leasing company or the landlord and find out if they are willing to accept a settlement payment for any money owed. If they are willing to negotiate a settlement you can ask for a notarized statement the debt has been paid.
Next you can contact each credit agency and provide information about the eviction as well as the landlord's statement that the issues have been resolved. Circumstances vary and this may or may not be sufficient enough to have your particular eviction cleared from your credit report.
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