House Bill 1214, which would expunge eviction records if a case was dismissed or ruled in the tenant’s favor, passed through the House by a unanimous vote, 89-0. The bill was co-authored by Rep. Vernon Smith, D-District 14, a member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 1 in 10 Hoosiers have experienced eviction filings. Currently, the bill does not allow tenants with a judgment against them to apply for expungement.
“This legislation is necessary to prevent families from being turned away from future housing options,” Smith said. “We shouldn’t attach a permanent stigma to people who deserve a second chance. … While this bill is a large step in the right direction, I would like to see the Senate work on provisions that will make exceptions for appropriate cases. Reports of inadequate court representation for tenants and evictions stemming from landlords acting in bad faith demonstrate the need for recourse in specific situations.”
The bill will be heard in the Senate Committee on Judiciary this month.