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Tenants in Marion County get a second chance through eviction sealing clinic

Around 200 people were able to file paperwork to get an eviction off their record on Tuesday
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Posted at 8:03 PM, Sep 26, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Renters with an eviction on their record are getting a second chance.

Around 200 people were able to file paperwork to get an eviction off their record on Tuesday. Renters with an eviction on their record can do so thanks to House Enrolled Act 1214 which was passed in 2022.

“This is where that eviction will no longer be on their record,” Amber Finley the President of the Marion County Bar Association said. “So, we've seen that there is a big barrier to access safe and affordable housing when you have this eviction record out there. So we are here to ensure that we can lift as many barriers as possible within the community.”

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According to data collected from the there have been 27,876 eviction filings in Marion County this year alone. Many of the around 200 people that attended had old eviction filings. The eviction sealing clinic helped take care of people with old filings as well.

"Due to some bad circumstances, I lost my job, so it was kind of hard for me to continue to pay so in that case I was evicted," Audrey Garrett a Marion County resident trying to get her eviction sealed said. "There was no communicating with that rental property they were also under new management, so it was kind of hard without transportation to you know do some leg work and try to find resources, time ran out on me."

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Since her eviction, she has been struggling to find a place to live. Her story is much like Jahmarr Prince’s. He was living at an apartment complex and tried to pay his rent every month. He says that the office was never open for him to do so, so he fell behind on his payments. Since then he hasn’t been able to find a place to live and has been staying with family and friends.

"It's hard to get a place,” Prince said. “You keep getting denied. Each time you get denied you are going to lose money nonstop.”

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Those who attended still have other steps they have to follow after the eviction clinic, according to the Marion County Bar association. However, the free legal advice allows those tenants with evictions to get the ball rolling on getting their record cleared.

"They will need to file the paperwork we are completing here,” Finley said. They will then file that information. So it's not immediate it's steps it's a process to go through but it's the first start in the first step of getting that eviction sealed.”

To qualify for eviction sealing, you must meet one of these conditions. The eviction must be dismissed by the court or the eviction case needs to be decided in favor of the renter. The case could be overturned by the court in favor of the renter or the eviction could be vacated on appeal. For more information click here.