Franklin County works to remove older evictions from online portal

Benjamin Horne, managing attorney of the Housing Unit at Columbus legal Aid Society. (WBNS)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For thousands in central Ohio living with past evictions, a new policy by the Franklin County Clerk of Courts could help remove an obstacle standing in the way of obtaining housing.

According to data from Franklin County, there were a little more than 18,000 evictions filed in 2019 of those about 9,000 resulted in a judgment.

Benjamin Horne, Managing Attorney of the Housing Unit at Columbus Legal Aid Society, says those statistics leave thousands struggling with the effects of having their name attached to filings that may have been done in error or settled.

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A move by Franklin County is looking to help those still facing barriers.

Listings on the Franklin County online portal will no longer show evictions older than three years. According to Franklin County, for cases up to three years old, there is now a standardized form that can be submitted to a judge for a ruling on whether it can be removed.

“This is the result of outcry of Columbus tenants who were being denied housing because of an eviction filling. Not necessarily a judgement, but a filing,” Horne said.

An early estimate from within the county clerk’s office reveals the move will impact as many as 400,000 people dealing with evictions from around 1990.