Moran Center to Host Legal Clinic for Eviction Sealing and Criminal Expungement Advice

SBCLC ERASE Clinic Open to the Evanston Public May 24 at Robert Crown Branch Library 

Evanston, Illinois–The Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, in partnership with the Evanston Public Library, AbbVie, and Kirkland & Ellis, will hold a walk-in legal clinic May 24 to help people in Evanston and the surrounding areas with sealing evictions and advise on the criminal expungement process. Residents who wish to take advantage of the Enhance Record and Seal Evictions and Criminal Expungement advice, or ERASE project, are welcome to meet with School-Based Civil Legal Clinic (SBCLC) volunteer attorneys from 3 – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24 at the Robert Crown Branch Library, 1801 Main Street in Evanston. Residents who have questions about the program can send an email to call (224) 714-0348.

Having an eviction on your record, even when there has been no Court judgment, can make it more difficult for renters to rent again given that the eviction lowers renters’ credit scores and often paints an unfair picture of renters’ ability to pay rent. A new Illinois Law, 735 ILCS 5/9-121.5, which became effective in May of 2021, makes it easier to seal a prior eviction record. It does not prohibit landlords from obtaining a reference from a previous landlord, but having an eviction sealed can improve a credit store and make it easier to apply for a new rental agreement. This is not for tenants with a pending eviction. 

Through the ERASE Project, attorneys at the Moran Center will prepare the necessary paperwork free of charge on behalf of residents who wish to take advantage of this law. The Moran Center will refer renters outside of Evanston to the Lawyer’s Committee For Better Housing. Moran Center expungement attorneys will also be available to advise and answer any questions about the process for criminal record relief.  Having a criminal record can also be a barrier applying for housing.  

The ERASE Project is one of many programs at the Moran Center that helps dismantle systemic barriers to the health, safety, and well-being of young people and their families. One of the only legal aid agencies in the country to integrate legal and therapeutic services, the Moran Center provides community-based legal, social work, and restorative services for youth and families. 

Since its founding in 1981, the Moran Center has been a champion for thousands of disinvested youth and families. The Center’s holistic, healing-centered, client-driven approach advances our vision of a more just, racially equitable, and restorative society.