Confidentiality of Juvenile Records
The Superior Court of Orange County Juvenile Court limits access to juvenile court records in accordance with California Rule of Court 5.552, and Welfare and Institution Code section 827.
Availability of these records is restricted to court personnel, the minor, parents or guardian, attorneys involved in the case, and other persons designated by statute. Authorized persons may inspect the juvenile court record by completing a Declaration in Support of Request to Inspect and/or Copy Juvenile Court Records Without a Court Order (L-0673) .
Persons not authorized by statute and the news media must make a request to the court for access to specific juvenile court records. The required forms are contained in the Request for Disclosure of Juvenile Case File in Which an Order is Required Booklet (L-0452). The completed forms can be mailed or delivered to the Juvenile Court Records Department at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. After service of the required documents on all interested parties, and the time to object to the inspection of the record has expired, the Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court will rule on the request or schedule a hearing.
Juvenile court records may not be obtained or inspected by civil or criminal subpoena.
Sealing a Juvenile Record
Your juvenile records do appear on your criminal record. As of your 18th birthday, you are eligible to petition to have your juvenile records sealed. Once your records are sealed, no one can gain access to them and they will be completely destroyed 5 years from the date of sealing.
Juvenile records are not automatically sealed upon your 18th birthday. You must petition the juvenile court to have them sealed. Information and documents to initiate this record sealing process are available from the Orange County Probation Department .
The Orange County Public Defender can also help you with this process. You can read more about sealing Juvenile Records in the Public Defender's "New Leaf Program."
If you graduated from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice , your juvenile convictions will have been dismissed as part of your graduation. If you do not petition to have your juvenile records sealed and destroyed, they will remain on your record until your 38th birthday; then they will be destroyed.
Persons not authorized by Welfare and Institutions Code sections 828 and California Rule of Court 5.552 must Petition the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court for access to police reports. The required forms are: Petition to Obtain Report of Law Enforcement Agency (JV-575) and Notice to Child and Parent/Guardian re: Release of Juvenile Police Records and Objection (JV-580) . The completed forms can be mailed or delivered to the Juvenile Court Records Department at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. After service of the required documents on all interested parties, and the time to object has expired, the Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court will rule on the request.
Unless the court determines otherwise, juvenile court records shall be ordered destroyed five years after sealing, or when a dependent reaches the age of 28 or a ward reaches the age of 21 or 38. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 389(c), 781(d), 826)