Eviction Expungement Tips
Many tenants think that an eviction case (“UD”) will not show up on their record if they settle the case. This is not true. As soon as your landlord files the eviction, there is a public record of an eviction case. If you do not do something to have it expunged, it will stay on your rental history. Future landlords can look at this and may decide against renting to you. This is why eviction expungements are so important.
An eviction expungement seals the court record of the eviction. That way, a future landlord will not see it on your record.
Before the Eviction Hearing
If possible, ask the landlord or their attorney at the court date if they will agree in writing to an expungement. This is called a Settlement Agreement. If they do, it will make the process easier for you. If you comply with the Settlement Agreement, you can file the Settlement Agreement along with proof that you complied with it, and the court can grant the expungement without a hearing. (If your income is low, you can also ask the court to waive the filing fee by filling out a fee waiver form, called an IFP.)
Once you Have an Eviction
If your landlord or their attorney will not agree to an expungement (or if the case has already happened), you can still ask the court for an expungement on your own. This is called a Motion.
- If you owe the landlord money, the court will likely NOT grant the expungement.
- If your case went to trial and you lost, the court will likely NOT grant the expungement.
Things to keep in mind when filing your own Motion for an expungement:
1. Take all of your paperwork to the courthouse.
2. Know that you will have to show up for another court date to allow the judge to decide on your motion.
3. Your landlord and/or their attorney can show up and tell the court NOT to grant your expungement. The court will then have to make a decision about whether they believe an expungement is appropriate.
4. In almost all cases, it is NOT guaranteed that your expungement will be granted.
5. The court considers the following factors when granting an eviction expungement.
- What was wrong with your landlord’s case? This can include arguments such as not being served with the paperwork before court, being sued even though you no longer lived at the unit, etc.
- Is expungement clearly in the interests of justice?
- Is your need to have the case expunged more important that the public knowing about this eviction?
SMRLS may be able to help with an eviction expungement. Find out more information about our Eviction Expungement Clinics.
For forms and more information visit: