This opinion will be unpublished and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
Filed May 9, 2006
Hennepin County District Court
File Nos. 86901002, 93092058, 93111494, 99106589
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134;
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin
Jay M. Heffern, Minneapolis City Attorney, Eileen J. Strejc, Assistant City Attorney, 300 Metropolitan Center, 333 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402; and
Ryan J. Wood, Marsh J. Halberg, Thomsen & Nybeck, P.A., 3300 Edinborough Way, Suite 600, Edina, MN 55435 (for respondent)
Lynne A. Torgerson, 1053
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Stoneburner, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges two separate expungement orders granted by the district court and argues that the district court had the authority to grant “more complete relief.” Because the district court granted appellant the relief authorized by the statute and by its inherent expungement authority and because the district court lacks the authority to order the further relief sought by appellant, we affirm.
Appellant M.A.M. petitioned for the expungement of all records relating to four separate criminal matters: two fifth-degree domestic-assault charges to which he pleaded guilty; a possession-of-stolen-property charge to which he pleaded guilty; and a dismissed aggravated-forgery charge.
The district court granted expungement under Minn. Stat. ch. 609A (2004) of the records relating to the aggravated-forgery charge and ordered all records of the offense to be sealed by the Hennepin County District Court Administrator, the Minnesota BCA, the Hennepin County Sheriff, the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections Director, the Minneapolis Police Chief, the Hennepin County Attorney, the Minneapolis City Attorney, and the Minnesota Attorney General. The order required M.A.M.’s identification data to be sealed and required the above entities to refrain from disclosing that M.A.M. was charged with this offense absent a court order.
In a separate order, the district court granted expungement of certain records relating to the three other offenses under the court’s inherent power to expunge. The district court ordered the Hennepin County District Court Administrator to seal all files and records relating to the offenses, to refrain from disclosing the contents of those files and records without a court order, and to remove all references to M.A.M. regarding the offenses from all index books and computers open to the public. The district court concluded that its inherent authority did not allow it to order other records to be sealed.
M.A.M. appeals from both of the expungement orders, seeking “more complete relief.”
extent of the judiciary’s expungement authority is a question of law, which
this court reviews de novo. State v. T.M.B., 590 N.W.2d 809, 811
(Minn. App. 1999), review denied
(Minn. June 16, 1999). There are two
bases of authority for a district court to order the expungement of a
petitioner’s criminal records: Minn.
Stat. ch. 609A and the court’s inherent expungement power. State
v. Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d 256, 257 (
Stat. § 609A.01 (2004) provides for expungement in certain circumstances
through the sealing of criminal records and by prohibiting their disclosure
without a court order. Expungement under
chapter 609A (2004) applies to criminal records held by the executive branch’s
law-enforcement agencies as well as to judicial records.
district court also has inherent power to expunge criminal records in two
situations: (1) “where the petitioner’s constitutional rights may be
seriously infringed by retention of his records,” Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d at 258 (quoting In re R.L.F., 256 N.W.2d 803, 807-08 (Minn. 1977)); and (2) if,
although a petitioner’s constitutional rights are not involved, “expungement
will yield a benefit to the petitioner commensurate with the disadvantages to
the public from the elimination of the record and the burden on the court in
issuing, enforcing and monitoring an expungement order.”
Here, the district court ordered the expungement of the records relating to the aggravated-forgery charge under Minn. Stat. ch. 609A. But it ordered the expungement of the records relating to the other three offenses under its inherent authority. M.A.M. argues that (1) T.M.B. and Schultz are contrary to the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision in State v. C.A.; (2) T.M.B. and Schultz created new expungement law; and (3) therefore, the district court erred by concluding that it lacked authority to order expungement of the BCA records and the executive-branch records relating to the domestic-assault charges and the possession-of-stolen-property charge.
thoroughly analyzed the evolution of
in State v. P.A.D.,this
court concluded that the district court had inherent power “to fashion a
meaningful remedy” by ordering “expungement of all records held by the BCA
which are now available to the public.”
436 N.W.2d 808, 810-11 (Minn. App. 1989), review denied (Minn. Mar.
12, 1989). But we subsequently noted
that “P.A.D. appeared to grant far broader inherent powers to expunge
the P.A.D. decision, the Minnesota
Supreme Court decided In re Quinn, 517 N.W.2d 895 (Minn. 1994), a case
that M.A.M. fails to address. In Quinn,
a man who was arrested for rape but was never charged sought to expunge the
police files relating to his arrest. 517
N.W.2d at 897. The supreme court rejected
“the contention that expungement and sealing was justified in this case to
protect a ‘unique judicial function.’”
Relying on the Quinn court’s clarification of the judiciary’s inherent expungement power, we noted:
Expungement becomes essential to the performance of the courts’ fundamental function of protecting legal rights only when a petitioner’s rights have been violated. Thus, absent evidence that executive agents abused their discretion in the performance of a governmental function, the judiciary may not interfere with the executive’s record-keeping function by ordering the expungement of its records.
T.M.B., 590 N.W.2d at 812. Contrary to M.A.M.’s argument, T.M.B. did not make new law. The supreme court had the opportunity to review the T.M.B. decision, but it declined to do so. And after thoroughly analyzing the judiciary’s inherent power to expunge in Schultz,we declared that “T.M.B.’s reliance on Quinn to hold that non-judicial records remain outside of the scope of the court’s inherent authority was . . . proper.” 676 N.W.2d at 343.
Because M.A.M. does not assert a violation of his rights or that the executive-branch agents abused their discretion, we conclude that the district court did not err by determining that it lacked the inherent authority to order the expungement of the executive-branch records.
remaining arguments lack both merit and support by citation or legal analysis. We may decline to address issues that are
inadequately briefed and unsupported by citation or legal analysis. See
State Dep’t of Labor & Indus. v. Wintz Parcel Drivers, Inc.,558 N.W.2d 480, 480 (
First, M.A.M. argues that both of the district court’s expungement orders should have addressed expungement under its inherent authority because the judiciary’s inherent authority is “broader” than its expungement authority under the statute. The exercise of a court’s inherent power to expunge is a matter of equity, which we review for an abuse of discretion. Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d at 261.
M.A.M. fails to assert any abuse of discretion by the district court here. The records relating to M.A.M.’s aggravated-forgery charge were expunged under Minn. Stat. ch. 609A. And we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing also to exercise its inherent power to order the expungement of these records.
The district court used its inherent power to expunge the domestic-assault charges and the possession-of-stolen-property charge. The expungement statute applies only to charges in which the proceedings “were resolved in favor of the petitioner.” Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, subd. 3. Because M.A.M. pleaded guilty to the domestic-assault charges and the possession-of-stolen-property charge, statutory expungement was unavailable.
M.A.M. argues that the district court should have addressed whether M.A.M. can
now legally deny that he was charged or convicted of these offenses “without
the pain of the penalty of perjury.” A
similar request was made in
M.A.M. argues that the district court “should have required the parties to send
a request to all entities to whom records or the like were provided, to expunge
their records.” But a petition for
expungement relief “should specify by name the person to be served with the
court order. Records and documents to be
expunged or controlled should be described specifically by location, file
number, book and page number, or similar description.”
Fourth, M.A.M. argues that the expungement order relating to the aggravated-forgery charge “needs to be made applicable to Operation de Novo.” M.A.M. asserts that Operation de Novo is an “arm” of the district court. But he fails to provide any facts substantiating this claim. He also fails to provide any legal argument. In light of the specificity required for requests for expungement, see id.at 360, we conclude that the district court did not err by failing to make the order “applicable to Operation de Novo.”
Fifth, M.A.M. argues that the
expungement order relating to the domestic-assault charges and the charge of
possession of stolen property “needs to be made applicable to the city attorney
Sixth, M.A.M. argues that “in the first order, the language ‘strictly internal records’ needs to be removed.” In the order expunging the records relating to the aggravated-forgery charge, the district court stated, “The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent, Hennepin County Sheriff, Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections Director and Minneapolis Police Chief shall seal Petitioner’s fingerprints, photographs and other identification data taken in connection with the offenses; [and] said officials shall remove references to Petitioner from all index books and/or any other listings of arrests or charges as they relate to the cases (except strictly internal records).” (Emphasis added.) M.A.M. claims that “there is no law to support such exception.” But he fails to provide any legal support for his argument. Therefore, we conclude that the language need not be removed.
At oral argument, M.A.M. withdrew a seventh argument, and we do not address it here.