13.50.250  <<  13.50.260 >>   13.50.270

Sealing hearingsSealing of records. (Effective until January 1, 2021.)

(1)(a) The court shall hold regular sealing hearings. During these regular sealing hearings, the court shall administratively seal an individual's juvenile record pursuant to the requirements of this subsection unless the court receives an objection to sealing or the court notes a compelling reason not to seal, in which case, the court shall set a contested hearing to be conducted on the record to address sealing. Although the juvenile record shall be sealed, the social file may be available to any juvenile justice or care agency when an investigation or case involving the juvenile subject of the records is being prosecuted by the juvenile justice or care agency or when the juvenile justice or care agency is assigned the responsibility of supervising the juvenile. The contested hearing shall be set no sooner than eighteen days after notice of the hearing and the opportunity to object has been sent to the juvenile, the victim, and juvenile's attorney. The juvenile respondent's presence is not required at a sealing hearing pursuant to this subsection.
(b) At the disposition hearing of a juvenile offender, the court shall schedule an administrative sealing hearing to take place during the first regularly scheduled sealing hearing after the latest of the following events that apply:
(i) The respondent's eighteenth birthday;
(ii) Anticipated completion of a respondent's probation, if ordered;
(iii) Anticipated release from confinement at the juvenile rehabilitation administration, or the completion of parole, if the respondent is transferred to the juvenile rehabilitation administration.
(c) A court shall enter a written order sealing an individual's juvenile court record pursuant to this subsection if:
(i) One of the offenses for which the court has entered a disposition is not at the time of commission of the offense:
(A) A most serious offense, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;
(B) A sex offense under chapter 9A.44 RCW; or
(C) A drug offense, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030; and
(ii) The respondent has completed the terms and conditions of disposition, including affirmative conditions and has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any insurance provider authorized under Title 48 RCW.
(d) Following a contested sealing hearing on the record after an objection is made pursuant to (a) of this subsection, the court shall enter a written order sealing the juvenile court record unless the court determines that sealing is not appropriate.
(2) The court shall enter a written order immediately sealing the official juvenile court record upon the acquittal after a fact finding or upon the dismissal of charges with prejudice, subject to the state's right, if any, to appeal the dismissal.
(3) If a juvenile court record has not already been sealed pursuant to this section, in any case in which information has been filed pursuant to RCW 13.40.100 or a complaint has been filed with the prosecutor and referred for diversion pursuant to RCW 13.40.070, the person who is the subject of the information or complaint may file a motion with the court to have the court vacate its order and findings, if any, and, subject to RCW 13.50.050(13), order the sealing of the official juvenile court record, the social file, and records of the court and of any other agency in the case.
(4)(a) The court shall grant any motion to seal records for class A offenses made pursuant to subsection (3) of this section if:
(i) Since the last date of release from confinement, including full-time residential treatment, if any, or entry of disposition, the person has spent five consecutive years in the community without committing any offense or crime that subsequently results in an adjudication or conviction;
(ii) No proceeding is pending against the moving party seeking the conviction of a juvenile offense or a criminal offense;
(iii) No proceeding is pending seeking the formation of a diversion agreement with that person;
(iv) The person is no longer required to register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 or has been relieved of the duty to register under RCW 9A.44.143 if the person was convicted of a sex offense;
(v) The person has not been convicted of rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, or indecent liberties that was actually committed with forcible compulsion; and
(vi) The person has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any insurance provider authorized under Title 48 RCW.
(b) The court shall grant any motion to seal records for class B, class C, gross misdemeanor, and misdemeanor offenses and diversions made under subsection (3) of this section if:
(i) Since the date of last release from confinement, including full-time residential treatment, if any, entry of disposition, or completion of the diversion agreement, the person has spent two consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any offense or crime;
(ii) No proceeding is pending against the moving party seeking the conviction of a juvenile offense or a criminal offense;
(iii) No proceeding is pending seeking the formation of a diversion agreement with that person;
(iv) The person is no longer required to register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 or has been relieved of the duty to register under RCW 9A.44.143 if the person was convicted of a sex offense; and
(v) The person has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any insurance provider authorized under Title 48 RCW.
(c) Notwithstanding the requirements in (a) or (b) of this subsection, the court shall grant any motion to seal records of any deferred disposition vacated under RCW 13.40.127(9) prior to June 7, 2012, if restitution has been paid and the person is eighteen years of age or older at the time of the motion.
(5) The person making a motion pursuant to subsection (3) of this section shall give reasonable notice of the motion to the prosecution and to any person or agency whose records are sought to be sealed.
(6)(a) If the court enters a written order sealing the juvenile court record pursuant to this section, it shall, subject to RCW 13.50.050(13), order sealed the official juvenile court record, the social file, and other records relating to the case as are named in the order. Thereafter, the proceedings in the case shall be treated as if they never occurred, and the subject of the records may reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records of which are sealed. Any agency shall reply to any inquiry concerning confidential or sealed records that records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
(b) In the event the subject of the juvenile records receives a full and unconditional pardon, the proceedings in the matter upon which the pardon has been granted shall be treated as if they never occurred, and the subject of the records may reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events upon which the pardon was received. Any agency shall reply to any inquiry concerning the records pertaining to the events for which the subject received a pardon that records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
(c) Effective July 1, 2019, the department of licensing may release information related to records the court has ordered sealed only to the extent necessary to comply with federal law and regulation.
(7) Inspection of the files and records included in the order to seal may thereafter be permitted only by order of the court upon motion made by the person who is the subject of the information or complaint, except as otherwise provided in RCW 13.50.010(8) and 13.50.050(13).
(8)(a) Any adjudication of a juvenile offense or a crime subsequent to sealing has the effect of nullifying a sealing order; however, the court may order the juvenile court record resealed upon disposition of the subsequent matter if the case meets the sealing criteria under this section and the court record has not previously been resealed.
(b) Any charging of an adult felony subsequent to the sealing has the effect of nullifying the sealing order.
(c) The administrative office of the courts shall ensure that the superior court judicial information system provides prosecutors access to information on the existence of sealed juvenile records.
(d) The Washington state patrol shall ensure that the Washington state identification system provides criminal justice agencies access to sealed juvenile records information.
(9) If the juvenile court record has been sealed pursuant to this section, the record of an employee is not admissible in an action for liability against the employer based on the former juvenile offender's conduct to show that the employer knew or should have known of the juvenile record of the employee. The record may be admissible, however, if a background check conducted or authorized by the employer contained the information in the sealed record.
(10) County clerks may interact or correspond with the respondent, his or her parents, and any holders of potential assets or wages of the respondent for the purposes of collecting an outstanding legal financial obligation after juvenile court records have been sealed pursuant to this section.
(11) Persons and agencies that obtain sealed juvenile records information pursuant to this section may communicate about this information with the respondent, but may not disseminate or be compelled to release the information to any person or agency not specifically granted access to sealed juvenile records in this section.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2015 c 265: See note following RCW 13.50.010.
FindingsIntent2014 c 175: See note following RCW 13.50.010.

Sealing hearingsSealing of records. (Effective January 1, 2021.)

(1)(a) The court shall hold regular sealing hearings. During these regular sealing hearings, the court shall administratively seal an individual's juvenile record pursuant to the requirements of this subsection. Although the juvenile record shall be sealed, the social file may be available to any juvenile justice or care agency when an investigation or case involving the juvenile subject of the records is being prosecuted by the juvenile justice or care agency or when the juvenile justice or care agency is assigned the responsibility of supervising the juvenile. The juvenile respondent's presence is not required at any administrative sealing hearing.
(b) At the disposition hearing of a juvenile offender, the court shall schedule an administrative sealing hearing to take place during the first regularly scheduled sealing hearing after the latest of the following events that apply:
(i) The respondent's eighteenth birthday;
(ii) Anticipated end date of a respondent's probation, if ordered;
(iii) Anticipated release from confinement at the juvenile rehabilitation administration, or the completion of parole, if the respondent is transferred to the juvenile rehabilitation administration.
(c) The court shall not schedule an administrative sealing hearing at the disposition and no administrative sealing hearing shall occur if one of the offenses for which the court has entered a disposition is at the time of commission of the offense:
(i) A most serious offense, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;
(ii) A sex offense under chapter 9A.44 RCW; or
(iii) A drug offense, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
(d) At the time of the scheduled administrative sealing hearing, the court shall enter a written order sealing the respondent's juvenile court record pursuant to this subsection if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent is no longer on supervision for the case being considered for sealing and has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any public or private entity providing insurance coverage or health care coverage. In determining whether the respondent is on supervision or owes restitution, the court shall take judicial notice of court records, including records of the county clerk, and, if necessary, sworn testimony from a representative of the juvenile department.
(e) At the time of the administrative sealing hearing, if the court finds the respondent remains on supervision for the case being considered for sealing, then the court shall continue the administrative sealing hearing to a date within thirty days following the anticipated end date of the respondent's supervision. At the next administrative sealing hearing, the court shall again determine the respondent's eligibility for sealing his or her juvenile court record pursuant to (d) of this subsection, and, if necessary, continue the hearing again as provided in this subsection.
(f)(i) During the administrative sealing hearing, if the court finds the respondent is no longer on supervision for the case being considered for sealing, but the respondent has not paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding any public or private entity providing insurance coverage or health care coverage, the court shall deny sealing the juvenile court record in a written order that: (A) Specifies the amount of restitution that remains unpaid to the original victim, excluding any public or private entity providing insurance coverage or health care coverage; and (B) provides direction to the respondent on how to pursue the sealing of records associated with this cause of action.
(ii) Within five business days of the entry of the written order denying the request to seal a juvenile court record, the juvenile court department staff shall notify the respondent of the denial by providing a copy of the order of denial to the respondent in person or in writing mailed to the respondent's last known address in the department of licensing database or the respondent's address provided to the court, whichever is more recent.
(iii) At any time following entry of the written order denying the request to seal a juvenile court record, the respondent may contact the juvenile court department, provide proof of payment of the remaining unpaid restitution to the original victim, excluding any public or private entity providing insurance coverage or health care coverage, and request an administrative sealing hearing. Upon verification of the satisfaction of the restitution payment, the juvenile court department staff shall circulate for signature an order sealing the file, and file the signed order with the clerk's office, who shall seal the record.
(iv) The administrative office of the courts must ensure that sealed juvenile records remain private in case of an appeal and are either not posted or redacted from any clerks papers that are posted online with the appellate record, as well as taking any other prudent steps necessary to avoid exposing sealed juvenile records to the public.
(2) Except for dismissal of a deferred disposition under RCW 13.40.127, the court shall enter a written order immediately sealing the official juvenile court record upon the acquittal after a fact finding or upon the dismissal of charges with prejudice, subject to the state's right, if any, to appeal the dismissal.
(3) If a juvenile court record has not already been sealed pursuant to this section, in any case in which information has been filed pursuant to RCW 13.40.100 or a complaint has been filed with the prosecutor and referred for diversion pursuant to RCW 13.40.070, the person who is the subject of the information or complaint may file a motion with the court to have the court vacate its order and findings, if any; resolve the status of any debts owing; and, subject to RCW 13.50.050(13), order the sealing of the official juvenile court record, the social file, and records of the court and of any other agency in the case, with the exception of identifying information under RCW 13.50.050(13).
(4)(a) The court shall grant any motion to seal records for class A offenses made pursuant to subsection (3) of this section if:
(i) Since the last date of release from confinement, including full-time residential treatment, if any, or entry of disposition, the person has spent five consecutive years in the community without committing any offense or crime that subsequently results in an adjudication or conviction;
(ii) No proceeding is pending against the moving party seeking the conviction of a juvenile offense or a criminal offense;
(iii) No proceeding is pending seeking the formation of a diversion agreement with that person;
(iv) The person is no longer required to register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 or has been relieved of the duty to register under RCW 9A.44.143 if the person was convicted of a sex offense;
(v) The person has not been convicted of rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, or indecent liberties that was actually committed with forcible compulsion; and
(vi) The person has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any public or private entity providing insurance coverage or health care coverage.
(b) The court shall grant any motion to seal records for class B, class C, gross misdemeanor, and misdemeanor offenses and diversions made under subsection (3) of this section if:
(i) Since the date of last release from confinement, including full-time residential treatment, if any, entry of disposition, or completion of the diversion agreement, the person has spent two consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any offense or crime;
(ii) No proceeding is pending against the moving party seeking the conviction of a juvenile offense or a criminal offense;
(iii) No proceeding is pending seeking the formation of a diversion agreement with that person;
(iv) The person is no longer required to register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 or has been relieved of the duty to register under RCW 9A.44.143 if the person was convicted of a sex offense; and
(v) The person has paid the full amount of restitution owing to the individual victim named in the restitution order, excluding restitution owed to any insurance provider authorized under Title 48 RCW.
(c) Notwithstanding the requirements in (a) or (b) of this subsection, the court shall grant any motion to seal records of any deferred disposition vacated under RCW 13.40.127(9) prior to June 7, 2012, if restitution has been paid and the person is eighteen years of age or older at the time of the motion.
(5) The person making a motion pursuant to subsection (3) of this section shall give reasonable notice of the motion to the prosecution and to any person or agency whose records are sought to be sealed.
(6)(a) If the court enters a written order sealing the juvenile court record pursuant to this section, it shall, subject to RCW 13.50.050(13), order sealed the official juvenile court record, the social file, and other records relating to the case as are named in the order. Thereafter, the proceedings in the case shall be treated as if they never occurred, and the subject of the records may reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records of which are sealed. Any agency shall reply to any inquiry concerning confidential or sealed records that records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
(b) In the event the subject of the juvenile records receives a full and unconditional pardon, the proceedings in the matter upon which the pardon has been granted shall be treated as if they never occurred, and the subject of the records may reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events upon which the pardon was received. Any agency shall reply to any inquiry concerning the records pertaining to the events for which the subject received a pardon that records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
(c) Effective July 1, 2019, the department of licensing may release information related to records the court has ordered sealed only to the extent necessary to comply with federal law and regulation.
(7) Inspection of the files and records included in the order to seal may thereafter be permitted only by order of the court upon motion made by the person who is the subject of the information or complaint, except as otherwise provided in RCW 13.50.010(8) and 13.50.050(13).
(8)(a) Any adjudication of a juvenile offense or a crime subsequent to sealing has the effect of nullifying a sealing order; however, the court may order the juvenile court record resealed upon disposition of the subsequent matter if the case meets the sealing criteria under this section and the court record has not previously been resealed.
(b) Any charging of an adult felony subsequent to the sealing has the effect of nullifying the sealing order.
(c) The administrative office of the courts shall ensure that the superior court judicial information system provides prosecutors access to information on the existence of sealed juvenile records.
(d) The Washington state patrol shall ensure that the Washington state identification system provides Washington state criminal justice agencies access to sealed juvenile records information.
(9) If the juvenile court record has been sealed pursuant to this section, the record of an employee is not admissible in an action for liability against the employer based on the former juvenile offender's conduct to show that the employer knew or should have known of the juvenile record of the employee. The record may be admissible, however, if a background check conducted or authorized by the employer contained the information in the sealed record.
(10) County clerks may interact or correspond with the respondent, his or her parents, restitution recipients, and any holders of potential assets or wages of the respondent for the purposes of collecting an outstanding legal financial obligation after juvenile court records have been sealed pursuant to this section.
(11) Persons and agencies that obtain sealed juvenile records information pursuant to this section may communicate about this information with the respondent, but may not disseminate or be compelled to release the information to any person or agency not specifically granted access to sealed juvenile records in this section.
(12) All criminal justice agencies must not disclose confidential information or sealed records accessed through the Washington state identification system or other means, and no information can be given to third parties other than Washington state criminal justice agencies about the existence or nonexistence of confidential or sealed records concerning an individual.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2020 c 184: "This act applies to all juvenile record sealing hearings commenced on or after January 1, 2021, regardless of when the underlying hearing was scheduled or the underlying record was created. To this extent, this act applies retroactively, but in all other respects it applies prospectively." [ 2020 c 184 § 4.]
Effective date2020 c 184: "Sections 1, 2, and 4 of this act take effect January 1, 2021." [ 2020 c 184 § 5.]
FindingIntent2015 c 265: See note following RCW 13.50.010.
FindingsIntent2014 c 175: See note following RCW 13.50.010.
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