Skulason v. CalBRE

Court Permits CalBRE to Post an Agent’s Convictions,

Even Though the Convictions Were Dismissed



In Skulason v. California Bureau of Real Estate, a California Appellate Court recently held that the California Bureau of Real Estate ("CalBRE") had no mandatory duty to remove from its website publicly available information about a real estate licensee's convictions, including convictions that were subsequently, dismissed.  In Skulason, licensee Brenda Skulason, sued CalBRE claiming that it had improperly refused to remove from its public website a document revealing that she had been previously convicted of three (3) misdemeanors.  She asserted that CalBRE was required to remove the document, because the convictions, while valid when entered, had subsequently been dismissed.  According to the agent, even though her prior convictions were not confidential, the disclosure of those convictions on the website imposed a penalty, because the Bureau was “going out of its way to disseminate the information” by “publishing the convictions to potential employers with full knowledge that the convictions were now expunged.”  The trial court agreed with Ms. Skulason and entered judgment in favor of Skulason.  The court of appeals reversed holding that CalBRE had no mandatory duty to remove the information from its website.  As the agent acknowledged, the information was publicly available.  The court found no authority establishing any duty that would restrict CalBRE's ability to post publically available information about a licensee on its website.  Skulason also failed to provide any authority for her position that the Bureau had a duty, even if it disclosed the convictions, to disclose that the convictions had been dismissed.


Shannon B. Jones, Partner