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2016 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.830. Sealing records (§ 781)

(a) Sealing records-former wards

(1)A former ward of the court may apply to petition the court to order juvenile records sealed. Determinations under section 781 may be made by the court in any county in which wardship was terminated. A court may seal the records of another court when it determines that it is appropriate to do so, and must make a determination on sealing those records if the case has been transferred to its jurisdiction under rules 5.610 and 5.612.

(2)At the time jurisdiction is terminated or the case is dismissed, the court must provide or instruct the probation department to provide form JV-595-INFO, How to Ask the Court to Seal Your Records, and form JV-595, Request to Seal Juvenile Records, to the ward if the court does not seal the ward's records under section 786. If the court does seal the ward's records under section 786, the court must provide or instruct the probation department to provide form JV-596-INFO, Sealing of Records for Satisfactory Completion of Probation, and a copy of the sealing order as provided in rule 5.840.

(3)Application-submission

(A)The application for a petition to seal records must be submitted to the probation department in the county in which wardship was terminated.

(B)The application for a petition to seal juvenile records may be submitted on form JV-595, Request to Seal Juvenile Records, or on another form that includes all required information.

(4)Investigation

If the applicant is at least 18 years of age, or if it has been at least five years since the applicant's probation was last terminated or since the applicant was cited to appear before a probation officer or was taken before a probation officer under section 626 or before any officer of a law enforcement agency, the probation officer must do all of the following:

(A)Prepare the petition;

(B)Conduct an investigation under section 781 and compile a list of cases and contact addresses of every agency or person that the probation department knows has a record of the ward's case-including the date of each offense, case number(s), and date when the case was closed-to be attached to the sealing petition;

(C)Prepare a report to the court with a recommendation supporting or opposing the requested sealing; and

(D)Within 90 days from receipt of the application if only the records of the investigating county are to be reviewed, or within 180 days from receipt of the application if records of other counties are to be reviewed:

(i)File the petition;

(ii)Set the matter for a hearing, which may be nonappearance; and

(iii)Notify the prosecuting attorney of the hearing.

(5)The court must review the petition and the report of the probation officer, and the court must grant or deny the petition.

(6)If the petition is granted, the court must order the sealing of all records described in section 781 using form JV-590, Order to Seal Juvenile Records-Welfare and Institutions Code Section 781, or a similar form. The order must apply in the county of the court hearing the petition and in all other counties in which there are juvenile records concerning the petitioner. If the court determines that sealing the records of another court for a petition that has not been transferred is inappropriate, it must inform the petitioner that a petition to seal those records can be filed in the county where the other court is located.

(Subd (a) amended effective July 1, 2016; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Sealing-nonwards

(1)For all other persons described in section 781, application may be submitted to the probation department in any county in which there is a juvenile record concerning the petitioner, and the procedures of (a) must be followed.

(2)When jurisdiction is terminated or the case is closed, the probation department must provide the following forms to individuals described under section 781(h)(1)(A) and (B):

(A)If the individual's records have not been sealed under section 786, form JV-595-INFO, How to Ask the Court to Seal Your Records, and form JV-595, Request to Seal Juvenile Records; or

(B)If the individual's records have been sealed under section 786, form JV-596-INFO, Sealing of Records for Satisfactory Completion of Probation, and a copy of the sealing order.

(Subd (b) amended effective July 1, 2016; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Destruction of records

All records sealed must be destroyed according to section 781(d).

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Distribution of order

The clerk of the issuing court must:

(1)Send a copy of the order to each agency and official listed in the order; and

(2)Send a certified copy of the order to the clerk in each county in which a record is ordered sealed.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(e) Deadline for sealing

Each agency and official notified must immediately seal all records as ordered.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 5.830 amended effective July 1, 2016; adopted as rule 1499 effective January 1, 1991; previously renumbered as rule 1497 effective January 1, 1999; previously amended and renumbered as rule 5.830 effective January 1, 2007.

Advisory Committee Comment

This rule is intended to describe the legal process by which a person may apply to petition the juvenile court to order the sealing-that is, the prohibition of access and inspection-of the records related to specified cases in the custody of the juvenile court, the probation department, and other agencies and public officials. This rule establishes minimum legal standards but does not prescribe procedures for managing physical or electronic records or methods for preventing public inspection of the records at issue. These procedures remain subject to local discretion. Procedures may, but are not required to, include the actual sealing of physical records or files. Other permissible methods of sealing physical records pending their destruction under section 781(d) include, but are not limited to, storing sealed records separately from publicly accessible records, placing sealed records in a folder or sleeve of a color different from that in which publicly accessible records are kept, assigning a distinctive file number extension to sealed records, or designating them with a special stamp. Procedures for sealing electronic records must accomplish the same objectives as the procedures used to seal physical records, and appropriate access controls must be established to ensure that only authorized persons may access the sealed records.

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