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AB-1181 Juveniles: court records.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/19/2017 09:00 PM
AB1181:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1181


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 389 of, and to add Sections 389.5 and 389.6 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1181, as amended, Mark Stone. Juveniles: court records.
Existing law authorizes, except as specified, a person who is the subject of a juvenile court record, or the county probation officer, to petition the court to seal the records relating to the person’s case, including records in the custody of the juvenile court and the probation officer and any other agencies, including law enforcement agencies and public officials as the petitioner alleges to have custody of the records. Existing law authorizes the petition to be filed 5 years or more after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has terminated or, if no petition was filed, 5 years or more after the person was cited to appear before a probation officer or was taken before a probation officer or law enforcement officer, or, in any case, at any time after the person reaches 18 years of age.
This bill would instead require the court to seal all records relating to a juvenile dependency case that has been dismissed, dismissed or for which jurisdiction has terminated at the time the dismissal or termination is final, including those records held by the all child welfare agency, agencies, the court, law enforcement agency, agencies, the minor’s or nonminor’s school, schools, and any agency with which the minor was placed, unless the court finds compelling evidence that the records should not be sealed. The bill would require the proceedings of the case to be deemed never to have occurred. The bill would authorize the sealed records to be available for inspection in certain instances, including if the minor is the subject of a subsequent dependency petition. The bill would make additional conforming changes.
The bill would require the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Judicial Council and the County Welfare Directors Association of California, to develop and issue guidance to county child welfare departments regarding the process for identifying and inspecting records that have previously been sealed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 389 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

389.
 (a) In any casein which a person is cited to appear before a probation officer or is taken before a probation officer pursuant to Section 307, or in any case in which a minor is taken before any officer of a law enforcement agency, the person or the county probation officer may, five years or more after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has terminated as to the person, or, in a case in which no petition is filed, five years or more after the person was cited to appear before a probation officer or was taken before a probation officer pursuant to Section 307 or was taken before any officer of a law enforcement agency, or, in any case, at any time after the person has reached the age of 18 years, petition the court for sealing of the records, including records of arrest, relating to the person’s case, in the custody of the juvenile court and probation officer and any other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, and public officials as petitioner alleges, in the petition, to have custody of those records. The court shall notify the district attorney of the county and the county probation officer, if the person is not the petitioner of the petition, and the district attorney or probation officer or any of their deputies or any other person having relevant evidence may testify at the hearing on the petition. If, after hearing, the court finds that since the termination of jurisdiction or action pursuant to Section 307, as the case may be, the person has not been convicted of a felony or of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and that rehabilitation has been attained to the satisfaction of the court, it shall order sealed all records, papers, and exhibits in the person’s case in the custody of the juvenile court, including the juvenile court record, minute book entries, and entries on dockets, and other records relating to the case in the custody of those other agencies and officials as are named in the order. Thereafter, the proceedings in the case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the person may properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records of which are ordered sealed. The court shall send a copy of the order to each agency and official named therein directing the agency to seal its records and five years thereafter to destroy the sealed records. Each agency and official shall seal records in its custody as directed by the order, shall advise the court of its compliance, and thereupon shall seal the copy of the court’s order for sealing of records that it or the person received. The person who is the subject of records sealed pursuant to this section may petition the superior court to permit inspection of the records by persons named in the petition, and the superior court may so order. Otherwise, except as provided in subdivision (b), the records shall not be open to inspection.
(b) In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court, upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this section to be opened and admitted into evidence. The records shall be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is authorized by the court to inspect them. Upon the judgment in the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the records sealed.
(c) Five years after a juvenile court record has been sealed, the court shall order the destruction of the sealed juvenile court record unless for good cause the court determines that the juvenile court record shall be retained. Any other agency in possession of sealed records shall destroy their records five years after the records were ordered sealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 389.5 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

389.5.
 (a) Unless the court finds compelling evidence that the records should not be sealed, the court shall order the sealing of all records relating to a dependency petition that has been dismissed. dismissed or for which jurisdiction has terminated at the time the dismissal or termination of jurisdiction is final. The records ordered sealed shall include those possessed by the all child welfare agency, agencies, law enforcement agency, agencies, the minor’s or nonminor’s school, schools, any agency with which the minor was placed, and any other agency or official named in the order. Thereafter, the proceedings in the case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the minor or nonminor may properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events for which records are ordered sealed. The court shall send a copy of the order to each agency and official named in the order directing the agency to seal its records. Each agency and official shall seal the records in the agency’s or official’s custody as directed by the order, shall advise the court of the agency’s or official’s compliance, and shall thereupon seal the copy of the court’s order for sealing of records that the agency or official received.
(b) The person who is the subject of the records sealed pursuant to this section may petition the superior court to permit inspection of the records by persons named in the petition, and the superior court may order the inspection of the records. Except as provided in subdivision (c), the records shall not otherwise be open to inspection.
(c) (1)   In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court, upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this section to be opened and admitted into evidence. The records shall be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is authorized by the court to inspect them. Upon the judgment in the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the records sealed.
(2) If a county welfare agency receives an allegation that a minor may be a person described in Section 300, or that the minor’s sibling or half sibling may be a person described by Section 300, the agency may, in the course of its investigation, inspect records relating to the minor that were previously sealed pursuant to this section.
(3) A county welfare agency with responsibility for supervision and placement over a minor, or a sibling or half sibling of a minor, whose records have previously been sealed pursuant to this section, may inspect the records for the purpose of determining the appropriate placement and services for the minor, his or her sibling or half sibling, and for the purpose of providing reunification or family maintenance services to the minor, his or her sibling or half sibling, or his or her parent or parents.
(4) If a subsequent petition alleging that a minor is a person described in Section 300 is filed, records relating to the minor that were previously sealed pursuant to this section shall be available for inspection by all parties to the petition. These parties and their attorneys may also receive copies of the record. record, which shall remain confidential. If a petition alleging that the minor’s or nonminor’s sibling or half sibling is a person described by Section 300 is filed, the court may consider any records that were previously sealed pursuant to this section relating to the minor or nonminor, consistent with this subdivision, if the sealed records are relevant to the provision of reunification services described in subdivision (b) of Section 361.5.
(5) If the child custody proceeding of a minor is transferred to the jurisdiction of a tribal court pursuant to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, any record that has been sealed pursuant to this section shall be transferred to the tribal court consistent with Section 827.15.
(6) The State Department of Social Services may inspect the relevant portion of a record sealed pursuant to this section for the limited purpose of establishing eligibility for benefits or services for a former foster youth.
(d) This section does not apply to records maintained by the State Department of Social Services that are necessary to comply with Section 200.333 of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 23.141 of Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or subsection (e) of Section 1915 of Title 25 of the United States Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 389.6 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

389.6.
 The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Judicial Council and the County Welfare Directors Association of California, shall develop and issue guidance to county child welfare departments regarding the process for identifying and inspecting records that have previously been sealed pursuant to Sections 389 and 389.5.