This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Jeremy Scott Henkensiefken,
Filed June 21, 2005
Scott County District Court
File No. 2001-04585
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Patrick J. Ciliberto, Scott County Attorney, Kevin J. Golden, Todd Zettler, Assistant County Attorneys, Government Center JC340, 200 Fourth Avenue West, Shakopee, MN 55379 (for respondent)
Steven J. Meshbesher, Kevin Gregorius, Meshbesher & Associates, P.A., 225 Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Crippen, Judge.*
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges the district court’s order denying his motion to expunge non-judicial records relating to his conviction and to return his identification records. Because the district court lacked the authority to order the expungement of non-judicial records and the return of appellant’s identification records, we affirm.
There are two bases of authority for
a district court to order the expungement of a petitioner’s criminal
To expunge a criminal record under Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, subd. 3, or to order the return of identification data furnished to the bureau of criminal apprehension under Minn. Stat. § 299C.11(b), the district court must first determine that all pending actions or proceedings were resolved in the defendant’s favor. Henkensiefken argues that the district court erred by determining that the proceedings here were not resolved in his favor. He argues that because he entered an Alford plea, he maintained his innocence and made no admission of criminal responsibility. He argues, therefore, that the subsequent vacation of his plea and dismissal of the charges against him amounted to a determination in his favor.
Whether all proceedings were
resolved in an appellant’s favor is a question of law reviewed de novo. State v. Davisson, 624 N.W.2d 292, 295
(Minn. App. 2001), review denied (
Henkensiefken relies on State v. L.K., 359 N.W.2d 305 (Minn. App. 1984), to argue that the vacation of his plea and the dismissal of the charges against him are a determination in his favor. But in L.K., the defendant did not enter a plea and did not admit guilt. 359 N.W.2d at 306-07.
Here, Henkensiefken pleaded
guilty. Although he insisted that he was
innocent, the district court adjudicated him guilty. In North Carolina v. Alford,
the United States Supreme Court determined that in certain circumstances it is
not constitutional error for a trial judge to accept a guilty plea from a
defendant who insists on maintaining his innocence. 400
The vacation of a guilty plea and
conviction and dismissal of a charge do not constitute a favorable
determination for the purposes of section 609A.02, subdivision 3, or section
299C.11. See Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d at 259 (citing City of St.
Paul v. Froysland, 310
Henkensiefken pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation. Subsequently, the district court vacated and dismissed the matter. Before accepting a guilty plea, a district court must determine that the facts and evidence would have supported a jury verdict of guilty. Goulette, 258 N.W.2d at 761. Because the evidence here supported a guilty verdict and because Henkensiefken pleaded guilty, his innocence cannot be presumed. We conclude that the proceedings were not determined in Henkensiefken’s favor for the purposes of either section 609A.02, subdivision 3, or section 299C.11 and that the district court was, therefore, not authorized to order the expungement of Henkensiefken’s non-judicial records or the return of his identification data under these statutes.
The district court exercised its inherent authority to expunge Henkensiefken’s judicial criminal records. But Henkensiefken argues that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to expunge his non-judicial criminal records and by refusing to order the return of his identification data under its inherent expungement authority.
as here, a defendant’s constitutional rights are not involved, a court may
exercise its inherent authority to expunge criminal records “when it is
necessary to the performance of [its] unique judicial functions” and when
“essential to the existence, dignity, and function of a court.” State
v. Schultz, 676 N.W.2d 337, 342 (Minn. App. 2004) (quoting
Alternatively, Henkensiefken argues
that he is entitled to expungement of all the records related to this case and
to the return of his identification data as specific performance of a plea
agreement. This court reviews issues
involving the interpretation and enforcement of plea agreements de novo. State v. Brown, 606 N.W.2d 670, 674 (
Because the proceedings were not resolved in Henkensiefken’s favor, making expungement under section 609A.02, subdivision 3, and section 299C.11 inappropriate, and because the district court lacked the inherent authority to seal Henkensiefken’s non-judicial records and to order the return of his identification data, the district court lacked the authority to order the specific performance asked for by Henkensiefken.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
 Further, we note that even if we had concluded that
these criminal proceedings were determined in Henkensiefken’s favor, the return
of his identification data under section 299C.11(b) would still be unauthorized
because the statute also requires either that “(1) all charges were dismissed
prior to a determination of probable cause; or (2) the prosecuting
authority declined to file any charges and a grand jury did not return an