Aug 29

The Current State of Expungement Laws —Part II: Inherent Authority Expungement

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The only other way to get your records expunged is by requesting the court do so under its “inherent authority.” This way is not as beneficial as statutory authority because a recent Minnesota supreme court case (In the Matter of Welfare of J.J.P.) decided that a court can only seal the judicial records under inherent authority. This means that your fingerprint records, arrest records, and records of charging and conviction through the BCA and police (just to name a few) are still out in the open for people to find.

Expunging records under inherent authority is exactly like statutory expungement except that you also should submit a memorandum showing the court why you are entitled to an expungement. You have to submit this because you are not automatically entitled to the expungement. You have to show that the benefit to you is more important than the burden on the court in sealing the records and making sure that they stay sealed.

At the hearing, it is often beneficial for you to be there with your attorney because the judge often likes to hear from you on why you want an expungement. You will work with your attorney beforehand to determine what to say to the judge and who says what. At the end, the judge may tell you right away whether your motion is granted or the judge may wait and issue a written order only.