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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.840. Dismissal of petition and sealing of records (§ 786)

(a) Applicability

This rule states the procedures to dismiss and seal the records of minors who are subject to section 786.

(b) Dismissal of petition

If the court finds that a minor subject to this rule has satisfactorily completed his or her informal or formal probation supervision, the court must order the petition dismissed. The court must not dismiss a petition if it was sustained based on the commission of an offense listed in subdivision (b) of section 707 when the minor was 14 or older unless the finding on that offense has been dismissed or was reduced to a misdemeanor or an offense not listed in subdivision (b) of section 707. The court may also dismiss prior petitions filed or sustained against the minor if they appear to the satisfaction of the court to meet the sealing and dismissal criteria in section 786. An unfulfilled order, condition, or restitution or an unpaid restitution fee must not be deemed to constitute unsatisfactory completion of probation supervision. The court may not extend the period of supervision or probation solely for the purpose of deferring or delaying eligibility for dismissal and sealing under section 786.

(Subd (b) amended effective September 1, 2018.)

(c) Sealing of records

For any petition dismissed by the court under section 786, including any petition dismissed before adjudication, the court must also order sealed all records in the custody of the court, law enforcement agencies, the probation department, and the Department of Justice pertaining to those dismissed petition(s) using form JV-596, Dismissal and Sealing of Records—Welfare and Institutions Code Section 786, or a similar form. The court may also seal records pertaining to these cases in the custody of other public agencies upon a request by an individual who is eligible to have records sealed under section 786, if the court determines that sealing the additional record(s) will promote the successful reentry and rehabilitation of the individual. The prosecuting attorney, probation officer, and court must have access to these records as specifically provided in section 786. Access to the records for research purposes must be provided as required in section 787.

(Subd (c) amended effective September 1, 2018.)

(d) Destruction of records

The court must specify in its order the date by which all sealed records must be destroyed. For court records this date may be no earlier than the date the subject of the order attains age 21 and no later than the end of the time frame set forth in section 781(d). For all other records, the date may be no earlier than the date the subject of the order attains age 18, and no later than the time frame set forth in section 781(d) unless that time frame expires prior to the date the subject attains 18 years of age.

(e) Distribution of order

The clerk of the issuing court must send a copy of the order to each agency and official listed in the order and provide a copy of the order to the individual whose records have been sealed and his or her attorney. The court shall also provide or instruct the probation department to provide the individual with form JV-596-INFO, Sealing of Records for Satisfactory Completion of Probation.

(f) Deadline for sealing

Each agency, individual, and official notified must immediately seal all records as ordered and advise the court that its sealing order has been completed using form JV-591, Acknowledgment of Juvenile Record Sealed, or another means.

Rule 5.840 amended effective September 1, 2018; adopted effective July 1, 2016.

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