United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is pro se Defendant Lyndon
Derouen's  Motion to Expunge Criminal Record, and the
Government's  Opposition thereto. Defendant
contends that having a felony conviction has obstructed his
efforts to secure employment, and accordingly, he requests
that this Court expunge his criminal record. In support of
his expungement request, Defendant argues he has been a
"model citizen" for over ten years. Upon review of
relevant legal authorities and the pleadings made by the
parties, the Court shall DENY Defendant's  Motion to
Expunge Criminal Record.
pled guilty to one count of felony misappropriation of postal
funds on February 24, 2006, before the Honorable Magistrate
Judge John M. Facciola, and he was sentenced by this Court to
a five year term of probation on June 5, 2006. In addition to
his probation, Defendant was ordered to pay a special
assessment fee of $100.00, and restitution in the amount of
$11, 925.85, at a rate of no less than $50.00 per month to
the United States Postal Service. Defendant's Motion to
Expunge Criminal Record comes approximately eleven years
after his sentencing and is opposed by the Government.
power to order expungement is part of the general power of
the federal courts to fashion appropriate remedies to protect
important legal rights. United States v. Archer,
Criminal No. 07-0029, 2012 WL 5818244, at *1 (D.D.C. Nov. 13,
2012) (quoting Doe v. Webster, 606 F.2d 1226, 1231
n.8, (D.C. Cir. 1979)). The court may order expungement where
it is required or authorized by statute, or in exercise of
its inherent equitable powers. Id. When the court
exercises its inherent equitable power to order expungement
it requires "either a lack of probable cause coupled
with specific circumstances, flagrant violations of the
Constitution, or other unusual and extraordinary
circumstances." Doe at 1230.
Courts have the power to order the expungement of government
records, such as criminal records, "where necessary to
vindicate rights secured by the Constitution or by
statute." Chastain v. Kelly, 510 F.2d 1232
(D.C. Cir. 1975), Indeed, "expungement is a potentially
available remedy for legally cognizable injuries."
Abdelfattah v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec, 787
F.3d 524, 538 (D.C. Cir. 2015). Difficulties obtaining
employment, as seen in United States v. Douglas,
2017 WL 4551211 at *2-3 (D.D.C. Oct. 10, 2017) are not the
sort of unusual and extraordinary circumstance meriting
expungement of a criminal record. The defendant in
Douglas was seeking to expunge his criminal record
of a conviction from 1997. The Court did not find defendants
struggles to secure employment an unusual consequence of his
prior actions. Additionally, the defendant in
Douglas did not challenge the validity of his arrest
and subsequent conviction; he was merely seeking an equitable
expungement of his criminal record. Accordingly, the
defendant's motion in Douglas was denied.
Id. at *3.
Defendant makes no challenge to the legitimacy of his arrest
and subsequent conviction and he also seeks an equitable
expungement of his criminal record. Defendant cites no
specific statutory authority, does not contend his arrest and
subsequent conviction were improper, nor does he plead
unusual or extraordinary circumstances justifying
expungement. A criminal record is a usual, ordinary barrier
to gainful employment, and the harms Defendant alleges do not
outweigh the government's interest in maintaining a
record of his arrest and conviction. Archer at *1.
This Circuit is clear that the Government has a
"legitimate need in maintaining criminal records in
order to efficiently conduct future criminal
investigations." Doe, 606 F.2d 1226, 1243 (D.C.
Cir. 1979). Records assist law enforcement with, niter
alia, criminal identification procedures. United
States v. Salleh, 863 F.Supp. 283 (E.D. Va. 1994). As a
result, expungements of criminal records are rare, without
authorizing statute or extraordinary circumstances, rare.
Court commends Defendant in his efforts to avoid trouble with
law enforcement in the ten years since his sentencing, and
acknowledges the barriers his felony conviction may have on
attempts to gain employment. That said, Defendant does not
present statutory authority in support of his expungement
request, nor does he contend his conviction and arrest were
improper so as to warrant expungement. Defendant's
inability to obtain employment is on its own insufficient to
justify expungement of his criminal record. See United.
Slates v. Baccous, Criminal Action No. 99-0596, 2013 WL
1707961, at *2 (D.D.C. April 22, 2013) (noting that even
where the defendant's concerns about his employment and
residential opportunities were valid, there was a lack of
"extreme circumstances" and expungement of his
criminal record was unwarranted). Accordingly, for the
foregoing reasons, the Court finds that Mr. Derouen's
 Motion to Expunge Criminal Record must be denied.
appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
 This Court permitted Defendant to file
a reply to Government's Opposition by December 18, 2017.