Sealing Eviction Filings Could Protect Tenants’ Rights, Advocates Argue

Even when records are sealed, the filling can still follow a tenant, making it difficult for them to find a new place to live.

Audio, News Story (Illinois)

Katie Buck
WMOT (Nashville)
May 17, 2018

Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing (Chicago)


A report earlier this year found that in Cook County 39 percent of the time eviction filings don’t end in evictions. That report by Housing Action Illinois and Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing covered a period of time between 2014 and 2017.

The groups argue that the cases should be sealed until an eviction is ordered. They support a Statehouse proposal that would have made private those records and improve the sealing process.

“The impact of evictions on peoples’ ability to find housing – even people who are found by the court to have done no wrong, but still have a filing against them – we’ve long-realized that negatively impacts peoples’ ability to find housing,” said Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois. “And we’ve tried to think of ways to mitigate that negative impact.”