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File #: RES 19-1620    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 9/18/2019
Title: Supporting the Second Judicial District Housing Court Workgroup’s proposal to maintain the confidentiality of eviction records pending case disposition.
Sponsors: Amy Brendmoen, Mitra Jalali, Rebecca Noecker, Jane L. Prince, Chris Tolbert, Kassim Busuri
TITLE
Supporting the Second Judicial District Housing Court Workgroup’s proposal to maintain the confidentiality of eviction records pending case disposition.

BODY
WHEREAS, Resolution 17-2064 passed by the Saint Paul City Council in December 2017 directed the Fair Housing Workgroup to develop a Fair Housing Strategic Plan and the Fair Housing Workgroup presented a report titled “Fair Housing Work Group: Status update and policy and program options in response to Resolution 17-2064” to the City Council in March 2018; and

WHEREAS, an outgrowth of this work was Council Resolution # 18-1204, which outlined numerous housing policies and needed studies to advance Saint Paul’s housing goals; and

WHEREAS, Council Resolution # 18-1204 included within its directives a policy and legal analysis of tenant protection measures examining potential improvements to programs, local codes and state statutes; and

WHEREAS, the Council convened a policy discussion on August 14, 2019 to deliberate on many tenant protection policies which addressed tenant screening - including criminal and financial background checks, evictions, notices of sale, tenant remedy actions, and right to counsel; and

WHEREAS, the Council discussed the problem that eviction filings are available to prospective landlords or screening agencies before the tenants are aware of the filing or there is a disposition of the case; and

WHEREAS, the presence in tenant screening reports of dismissed eviction actions places tenants at an unfair and significant disadvantage in their search for safe, decent and affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, in 2018 of the 2,408 evictions filed in the Second Judicial District, 554 (23%) were dismissed;

WHEREAS, settled eviction actions in tenant screening reports also place tenants at a disadvantage in their search for safe, decent and affordable housing - as the settlement of the eviction case demonstrates capacity to address mistakes and should not be viewed in the same light...

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