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Inactive eviction records are no longer available online in Hamilton County

the notice of eviction of tenants hangs on the door of the house, front view
Vyacheslav Dumchev
the notice of eviction of tenants hangs on the door of the house, front view

Tens of thousands of inactive eviction records are no longer on the Hamilton County website after a recent policy change. The inactive cases are either fully paid or were dismissed, meaning the eviction didn't even happen.

Moving forward, cases will be automatically removed on a rolling basis once they've been inactive for three years. Clerk of Courts Pavan Parikh says the goal is to eliminate a barrier for tenants looking for housing.

"Especially in the cases where someone didn't do anything wrong — there may have been a misunderstanding, there may have been a landlord who just was a little overzealous at one point in time and the issues were resolved, or the issues were resolved many years ago," Parikh said. "And we don't want to hold that against people as we try to get the economy going again and making sure that people have access to housing."

Parikh says up to 11,000 records will be removed each year. That may go up when evictions filed during the pandemic reach the three-year threshold.

"The records still exist, so if somebody wanted to do a full credit check, they could still access the records," Parikh said. "If they wanted to come down to the courthouse and request the records, they can still get them."

The policy does not apply to old cases where the tenant still owes money to the landlord or the court.

Tenants can ask a magistrate to remove an inactive eviction from the website. Parikh says thousand of tenants make the request each year, and magistrates routinely order the removal. The new policy is, in part, a solution to the large workload that will now be streamlined. Tenants can still request removal of an inactive eviction that is less than three years old.

The policy does not apply to older evictions that are still active, like if the tenant still owes money.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.