This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed November 7, 2006
Dakota County District Court
File No. K2-01-2646
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
James C. Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, Scott Hersey, Assistant County Attorney, Dakota County Judicial Center, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033 (for respondent)
Jeffrey C. Dean, Dean Law Office, 700 Lumber Exchange
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Harten, Judge.
Appellant argues that the district court erred in refusing to expunge the records of appellant’s prosecution for possession of pictorial representations of minors after this court reversed appellant’s conviction on that charge for insufficient evidence. Because we see no error in the district court’s application of the statutes and no abuse of discretion in the decision not to expunge under the its inherent authority, we affirm.
During the 2000-2001 school year, appellant B.V.M., a fifth-grade teacher, admitted that he viewed adult pornography on school computers. Child pornography was later found on school computers, and appellant was charged with possession of pictorial representations of minors. A jury convicted appellant of that charge. He challenged the conviction, and this court reversed it on the basis of insufficient evidence. State v. Myrland, 681 N.W.2d 415 (Minn. App. 2004), review denied (Minn. 25 Aug. 2004).
In August 2005, appellant filed a petition for expungement in the district court. The district court denied appellant’s petition, and he challenges that denial.
D E C I S I O N
No petition [for expungement] under chapter 609A is required if the person has not been convicted of any felony or gross misdemeanor, either within or without the state, within the period of ten years immediately preceding the determination of all pending criminal actions or proceedings in favor of the arrested person, and either of the following occurred:
(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 indictment.
The charges against appellant were not dismissed; probable cause was determined; the prosecuting authority did file charges; and a district court jury of twelve found appellant guilty of possession of pictorial representations of minors. Therefore, neither statutory subpart (1) nor (2) occurred, and appellant is not entitled to expungement under Minn. Stat. § 299C.11(b).
Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, subd. 3, provides that a petition to seal all records may be filed “if the records are not subject to section 299C.11, paragraph (b), and if all pending actions or proceedings were resolved in favor of the petitioner.” The district court shall grant the petition “unless the agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the interests of the public and public safety outweigh the disadvantages to the petitioner of not sealing the record.” Minn. Stat. § 609A.03, subd. 5(b).
Here, the district court found that appellant admitted to using school computers to view pornography.
He acknowledged that he betrayed the trust of his boss and fellow teachers by doing this, and that it was extremely reckless and irresponsible to potentially expose students to the pornographic material he was viewing. The public and potential employers have a strong interest in this important information. Given the information provided by [appellant] in this matter, the disadvantages to the public clearly outweigh any benefit to [him].
Appellant does not challenge these findings concerning his admissions. He argues, however, that his benefit from having the records expunged outweighs any disadvantage to the public from not expunging them.
As a practical
matter, appellant’s effort to keep knowledge of his child pornography charge
from the public by expunging the court’s records appears to be futile; detailed
information on his criminal case from newspaper articles is indexed and easily
available from sources in the public domain.
Moreover, the benefit of expungement to appellant is further mitigated
by the public availability of this court’s decision concluding that the
evidence was insufficient to convict him of that charge.
2. Inherent Judicial Expungement.
“The exercise of a court’s inherent power to
expunge is a matter of equity, and we therefore review the district court’s
conclusion under an abuse of discretion standard.” State
v. Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d 256, 261 (
In his brief, appellant alleges that the denial of his petition was “a violation of his federal and state due process rights” but he provides no explanation or argument for this allegation. We decline to address allegations unsupported by legal analysis or citation. Ganguli v. University of Minn., 512 N.W.2d 918, 919 n.1 (Minn. App. 1994). So the question becomes whether the benefit expungement would yield to appellant is commensurate with the disadvantage it would cause to the public and the burden it would impose on the court.
that the benefit to him would be prospective employers’ inability to discover
that he was charged with possession of pictorial representation of minors. The petitioner in Ambaye also sought expungement for “greater ease in obtaining
employment.” Ambaye, 616 N.W.2d at 261. There,
the supreme court found no abuse of discretion in the district court’s decision
to deny expungement and relied in part on its statement that “the benefit [the
petitioner] stood to gain from expungement, if granted, would override the very
purpose of the background check.
Employers, sometimes pursuant to law and sometimes voluntarily, have
required background checks in order to ‘assess any potential risk involved with
hiring certain individuals.’”
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
 Although appellant claims in his reply brief that he seeks relief only under Minn. Stat. § 609A.02 (2004), in the interests of completeness this opinion will address the two statutes relevant to expungement and the judicial authority to expunge.
 This statute has since been amended (Minn. Stat. § 299C.11, subd. 1(b) (Supp. 2005)), but the amendments are immaterial to this appeal.