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State v. Scheffler

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

July 8, 2019

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Troy Kenneth Scheffler, Appellant.

          Anoka County District Court File No. 02-VB-10-264

          David J. Brodie, Coon Rapids City Attorney, Coon Rapids, Minnesota (for respondent).

          Troy Kenneth Scheffler, Merrifield, Minnesota (pro se appellant)

          Considered and decided by Bratvold, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Larkin, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         A decision whether to waive the filing fee in an action to expunge criminal records is governed by Minn. Stat. § 609A.03 (2018), the relevant expungement statute, and not by Minn. Stat. § 563.01 (2018), the in forma pauperis statute.

          OPINION

          LARKIN, JUDGE.

         Appellant challenges the district court's denial of his fee-waiver request in a district court action to expunge a petty misdemeanor conviction. Because the district court's determination that appellant is ineligible for fee waiver is based on its erroneous determination that appellant is not indigent, and because the ultimate decision whether to waive a filing fee in an action to expunge criminal records is governed by Minn. Stat. § 609A.03, and not by Minn. Stat. § 563.01, on which the district court relied, we reverse and remand for the district court to reconsider appellant's fee-waiver request based on the standards set forth in Minn. Stat. § 609A.03.

         FACTS

         In March 2019, appellant Troy Kenneth Scheffler petitioned to expunge records regarding his petty misdemeanor conviction for failing to wear a seatbelt. Scheffler requested waiver of court fees and costs, and the district court denied his request. This appeal follows.[1]

         ISSUE

         Did the district court err in denying Scheffler's request for waiver of fees and costs in his expungement action?

         ANALYSIS

         Scheffler was convicted of a petty misdemeanor seatbelt violation in 2010. He petitioned for expungement of the conviction in 2019, asserting that he had not been convicted of any crime since 2010. He sought relief under ...


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