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6/16/2023 Assembly approves legislation that seals eviction records
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation (2023-0912Aaa) sponsored by Sen. Tiara Mack which would seal eviction court records.
“Rhode Island’s housing crisis is very real and it is having a devastating impact on too many residents, particularly renters, residents of color and individuals and families at the lower end of the economic spectrum.  This legislation is critical because eviction rates are high in Rhode Island and increasing on a daily basis.  Publicly available eviction filing records do not reflect what actually happened and cases can be dismissed or resolved, but these records continually negatively impact the tenant for years, unfairly preventing them from getting suitable housing.,” said Senator Mack (D-Dist. 6, Providence).
The legislation provides for the sealing of court files in residential eviction proceedings upon the filing of a motion and the meeting of certain requirements.  Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) introduced the companion legislation (2023-H 6323aa) in the House.
“Someone seeking a place to live shouldn’t face discrimination and homelessness because they fell on hard times in the past.  This bill achieves a good balance protecting landlords and ensuring renters who have met all of their past obligations can find a home for their family.” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown).
“With the passage of this bill, we are giving tenants the tools they need to obtain suitable housing, end housing instability, and prevent homelessness.  This bill is a huge win for tenants who have been overburdened by rising rent costs and costs of living.  I am proud to have worked this session on bills like this that impact the everyday lives of people in our state,” concluded Senator Mack.
The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903