Cleveland leaders’ attempt to expunge cannabis possession convictions en masse has run into a legal wall, one month after Mayor Justin Bibb and other city officials carried boxes of filings to the Justice Center to expunge over 4,000 convictions.
Now, the city’s government is changing course. State law requires that residents make their own requests to expunge their criminal records, according to Ideastream Public Media. So, Cleveland’s law department plans to file motions in municipal court this week to dismiss charges and vacate convictions, per the news outlet.
The new approach is different from expungement because the initial arrest record remains on file. What’s more, the city “would likely owe court costs and fines paid back to the defendant,” according to the Cleveland Scene, citing Cleveland Municipal Judge Michelle Earley and Cleveland.com.