Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

S.194

Introduced by   Senator Sears of Bennington District and Senator Leddy of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Human services; juvenile proceedings; sealing of records

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish a process for the automatic sealing of a person’s juvenile court records pertaining to a delinquent act after a period of time in which the person does not reoffend; and to permit, upon application, the sealing of a person’s juvenile court records pertaining to an adjudication of need of care or supervision once the person reaches the age of majority and if the sealing would serve the interest of justice.

AN ACT RELATING TO SEALING JUVENILE RECORDS RELATING TO A DELINQUENT ACT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  33 V.S.A. § 5538 is amended to read:

§ 5538.  SEALING OF RECORDS

(a)  On application of a child who has been adjudicated delinquent or in need of care or supervision, or on the court’s own motion, and after notice to all parties of record and hearing In matters relating to a child who has been adjudicated delinquent, the court shall order the sealing of all files and records of the court applicable to the proceeding if it two years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person unless, on motion, the court finds;:

(1)  Two years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person,

(2)  He the person has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or adjudicated delinquent or in need of care or supervision after such initial adjudication and prior to the hearing and no, or a proceeding is pending seeking such conviction or adjudication, and; or

(3)(2)  His rehabilitation of the person has not been attained to the satisfaction of the court. 

(b)  On application of a person who, while a child, was found to be in need of care or supervision, or on the court’s own motion, after notice to all parties of record and hearing, the court may order the sealing of all files and records of the court applicable to the proceeding if it finds:

(1)  the person has reached the age of majority; and

(2)  sealing the person’s record is in the interest of justice.

(c)  The application or motion and the order may shall include the files and records specified in sections 5536 and 5537 of this title.

(b)  Notice of a hearing held under this section shall in any event be given to:

(1)  The state’s attorney having jurisdiction,

(2)  If the final discharge was from an institution or from parole, the authority granting the discharge, and

(3)  If the files and records specified in sections 5536 and 5537 of this title are included in the application or motion, the law enforcement officers or department having custody of the files and records.

(c)(d)  Upon the entry of an order sealing such files and records under this section, the proceedings in the matter under this act shall be considered never to have occurred, all index references thereto shall be deleted, and the person, the court, and law enforcement officers and departments shall reply to any request for information that no record exists with respect to such person upon inquiry in any matter.  Copies of the order shall be sent to each agency or official named therein.

(d)(e)  Inspection of the files and records included in the order may thereafter be permitted by the court only upon petition by the person who is the subject of such records, and only to those persons named therein.

(e)(f)  On application of a person who has pleaded guilty to or has been convicted of the commission of a crime committed under the laws of this state prior to attaining the age of majority, or on the motion of the court having jurisdiction over such a person, the files and records may be sealed after proceedings in conformity with and subject to the limitations of subsections (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this section after notice to all parties of record and hearing, the court shall order the sealing of all files and records of the court applicable to the proceeding if it finds:

(1)  two years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person;

(2)  the person has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or adjudicated delinquent after such initial adjudication, and no proceeding is pending seeking such conviction or adjudication; and

(3)  the person’s rehabilitation has been attained to the satisfaction of the court.  

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 163(e) is amended to read:

§ 163.  JUVENILE COURT DIVERSION PROJECT

* * *

(e)  Within 30 days of the two-year anniversary of a successful completion of juvenile diversion, the court shall provide notice to all parties of record of the court’s intention to order the sealing of all court files and records, law enforcement records other than entries in the juvenile court diversion project’s centralized filing system, fingerprints, and photographs applicable to a juvenile court diversion proceeding.  The court shall give the state’s attorney an opportunity for a hearing to contest the sealing of records.  The court shall seal the records if it unless, upon motion, the court finds:

(1)  two years have elapsed since the successful completion of the juvenile court diversion program by the participant and the dismissal of the case by the state’s attorney;

(2)  the participant has not been convicted of a subsequent felony or misdemeanor during the two-year period, and no or proceedings are pending seeking such conviction; and or

(3)(2)  rehabilitation of the participant has not been attained to the satisfaction of the court.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us