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State v. R.M.B.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 30, 2013

State of Minnesota, City of Crystal, Appellant,
v.
R. M. B., Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CR-05-045759.

Peter A. MacMillan, MacMillan, Wallace, Athanases & Patera, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant).

R.M.B., Golden Valley, Minnesota (pro se respondent).

Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

PETERSON, Judge

Appellant city challenges a district court order that expunges respondent's criminal records held by executive branch agencies. In light of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision in State v. M.D.T., 831 N.W.2d 276 (Minn. 2013) (M.D.T. II), we reverse.

FACTS

In 2004, respondent R.M.B. pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge in Bloomington. Imposition of sentence was stayed, and the case was dismissed after one year. In 2005, respondent was charged with misdemeanor theft in Crystal. Respondent pleaded guilty, and her 30-day sentence was stayed for a year on condition that she remained law abiding. In 2009, respondent pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge in Minnetonka, and she was convicted and sentenced.

In 2012, respondent petitioned the district court for expungement of all judicial and executive branch records related to these offenses. The City of Bloomington and the City of Crystal submitted objections to the expungement, and the Minnesota Attorney General's office submitted an objection to expungement of records of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The City of Minnetonka and the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, on behalf of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections, did not appear or object.

Respondent requested expungement because she was having difficulty finding employment; respondent did not allege an infringement of her constitutional rights. On February 12, 2013, the district court filed its order for expungement of all judicial and executive branch records relating to the three convictions.

Appellant City of Crystal filed a notice of appeal contesting the district court's order as it applied to the city and the Crystal Police Department with regard to the 2005 offense that occurred in Crystal. Appellant seeks to vacate "those portions of the order entered in this file by the district court directing that criminal records held by the executive branch agencies be sealed" and asks this court to modify the district court's order so that it applies "only to judicial records and not to any records held by any executive branch entity."

DECISION

The district court based its order on this court's decision in State v. M.D.T., 815 N.W.2d 628 (Minn.App. 2012) (M.D.T. I), rev'd by 831 N.W.2d 276 (Minn. 2013), which stated that a court has inherent authority to expunge records held by the executive branch. Id. at 638-39. That opinion was overturned by the supreme court in M.D.T. II. In its opinion, the supreme court examined various bases for permitting expungement of criminal records. It acknowledged the judiciary's authority to expunge executive-branch records if necessary to protect a ...


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