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State v. K.M.M.

September 12, 2006

STATE OF MINNESOTA, RESPONDENT,
v.
K.M.M., A/K/A K.M.H., A/K/A K.M.F., A/K/A K.M.M., APPELLANT.



Dakota County District Court File Nos. K7-00-3202, K4-00-3514, C2269, C4845.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

When the state dismisses a grand-jury indictment and elects not to prosecute the charge further, the grand-jury proceedings are considered to be resolved in favor of the petitioner for purposes of expungement of the records.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shumaker, Judge

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded

Considered and decided by Ross, Presiding Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Wright, Judge.

OPINION

Appellant challenges the district court's denial of her petition for expungement of records pertaining to criminal convictions and a dismissed homicide indictment, arguing that the district court had both statutory authority and the inherent power to expunge her records. We affirm the district court's denial of the petition for expungement of appellant's criminal convictions on statutory grounds, but reverse and remand for appropriate findings as to expungement of the criminal convictions under the court's inherent authority and for findings as to expungement of the indictment under statutory and inherent authority.

FACTS

In 2005, K.M.M. filed a petition with the district court under Minn. Stat. § 609A.03 (2004) to expunge all records pertaining to her 1982 forgery conviction, 1985 conviction of wrongfully obtaining public assistance, and 2000 dismissed indictment for first-degree and second-degree murder. She alleged in her petition that this "background information" caused her termination from her full-time job, prevented her from getting other jobs, and made it difficult to find suitable housing for her and her family.

The court denied the petition, ruling that it lacked authority to expunge records relating to the criminal convictions "because those proceedings were not resolved in [K.M.M.'s] favor" and that K.M.M. had failed to satisfy the statutory requisites for expungement of records relating to the dismissed indictment.

Contending that the court erred in denying her petition, K.M.M. appealed.

ISSUE

A statute provides that a person may petition to seal records pertaining to criminal charges against that person if the proceedings were resolved in the person's favor. The state dismissed a murder indictment against appellant and elected not to prosecute further. Ruling that it lacked authority to consider appellant's petition because ...


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