Definitions — Conditions when filing petition or information — Duties to maintain accurate records and access.
(1) For purposes of this chapter:
(a) "Juvenile justice or care agency" means any of the following: Police, diversion units, court, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, detention center, attorney general, the legislative children's oversight committee, the office of the family and children's ombuds, the department of social and health services and its contracting agencies, schools; persons or public or private agencies having children committed to their custody; and any placement oversight committee created under RCW 72.05.415;
(b) "Official juvenile court file" means the legal file of the juvenile court containing the petition or information, motions, memorandums, briefs, findings of the court, and court orders;
(c) "Records" means the official juvenile court file, the social file, and records of any other juvenile justice or care agency in the case;
(d) "Social file" means the juvenile court file containing the records and reports of the probation counselor.
(2) Each petition or information filed with the court may include only one juvenile and each petition or information shall be filed under a separate docket number. The social file shall be filed separately from the official juvenile court file.
(3) It is the duty of any juvenile justice or care agency to maintain accurate records. To this end:
(a) The agency may never knowingly record inaccurate information. Any information in records maintained by the department of social and health services relating to a petition filed pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW that is found by the court to be false or inaccurate shall be corrected or expunged from such records by the agency;
(b) An agency shall take reasonable steps to assure the security of its records and prevent tampering with them; and
(c) An agency shall make reasonable efforts to insure the completeness of its records, including action taken by other agencies with respect to matters in its files.
(4) Each juvenile justice or care agency shall implement procedures consistent with the provisions of this chapter to facilitate inquiries concerning records.
(5) Any person who has reasonable cause to believe information concerning that person is included in the records of a juvenile justice or care agency and who has been denied access to those records by the agency may make a motion to the court for an order authorizing that person to inspect the juvenile justice or care agency record concerning that person. The court shall grant the motion to examine records unless it finds that in the interests of justice or in the best interests of the juvenile the records or parts of them should remain confidential.
(6) A juvenile, or his or her parents, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe information concerning that person is included in the records of a juvenile justice or care agency may make a motion to the court challenging the accuracy of any information concerning the moving party in the record or challenging the continued possession of the record by the agency. If the court grants the motion, it shall order the record or information to be corrected or destroyed.
(7) The person making a motion under subsection (5) or (6) of this section shall give reasonable notice of the motion to all parties to the original action and to any agency whose records will be affected by the motion.
(8) The court may permit inspection of records by, or release of information to, any clinic, hospital, or agency which has the subject person under care or treatment. The court may also permit inspection by or release to individuals or agencies, including juvenile justice advisory committees of county law and justice councils, engaged in legitimate research for educational, scientific, or public purposes. Each person granted permission to inspect juvenile justice or care agency records for research purposes shall present a notarized statement to the court stating that the names of juveniles and parents will remain confidential.
(9) The court shall release to the caseload forecast council the records needed for its research and data-gathering functions. Access to caseload forecast data may be permitted by the council for research purposes only if the anonymity of all persons mentioned in the records or information will be preserved.
(10) Juvenile detention facilities shall release records to the caseload forecast council upon request. The commission shall not disclose the names of any juveniles or parents mentioned in the records without the named individual's written permission.
(11) Requirements in this chapter relating to the court's authority to compel disclosure shall not apply to the legislative children's oversight committee or the office of the family and children's ombuds.
(12) For the purpose of research only, the administrative office of the courts shall maintain an electronic research copy of all records in the judicial information system related to juveniles. Access to the research copy is restricted to the Washington state center for court research. The Washington state center for court research shall maintain the confidentiality of all confidential records and shall preserve the anonymity of all persons identified in the research copy. The research copy may not be subject to any records retention schedule and must include records destroyed or removed from the judicial information system pursuant to RCW 13.50.270 and 13.50.100(3).
(13) The court shall release to the Washington state office of public defense records needed to implement the agency's oversight, technical assistance, and other functions as required by RCW 2.70.020. Access to the records used as a basis for oversight, technical assistance, or other agency functions is restricted to the Washington state office of public defense. The Washington state office of public defense shall maintain the confidentiality of all confidential information included in the records.
[2014 c 175 § 2; 2014 c 117 § 5; 2013 c 23 § 6; 2011 1st sp.s. c 40 § 30; 2010 c 150 § 3; 2009 c 440 § 1; 1998 c 269 § 4. Prior: 1997 c 386 § 21; 1997 c 338 § 39; 1996 c 232 § 6; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 541; 1993 c 374 § 1; 1990 c 246 § 8; 1986 c 288 § 11; 1979 c 155 § 8.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2014 c 117 § 5 and by 2014 c 175 § 2, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1). The language in subsection (9) was included in both 2014 c 175 § 2 and 2014 c 117 § 5.|
Findings -- Intent -- 2014 c 175: "The legislature finds that:
(1) The primary goal of the Washington state juvenile justice system is the rehabilitation and reintegration of former juvenile offenders. The public has a compelling interest in the rehabilitation of former juvenile offenders and their successful reintegration into society as active, law-abiding, and contributing members of their communities. When juvenile court records are publicly available, former juvenile offenders face substantial barriers to reintegration, as they are denied housing, employment, and education opportunities on the basis of these records.
(2) The legislature declares it is the policy of the state of Washington that the interest in juvenile rehabilitation and reintegration constitutes compelling circumstances that outweigh the public interest in continued availability of juvenile court records. The legislature intends that juvenile court proceedings be openly administered but, except in limited circumstances, the records of these proceedings be closed when the juvenile has reached the age of eighteen and completed the terms of disposition." [2014 c 175 § 1.]
Application -- Recalculation of community custody terms -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 40: See note following RCW 9.94A.501.
Alphabetization -- 1998 c 269: "The code reviser shall alphabetize the definitions in RCW 13.50.010 and 74.15.020 and correct any references." [1998 c 269 § 18.]
Intent -- Finding -- Effective date -- 1998 c 269: See notes following RCW 72.05.020.
Application -- 1997 c 386: "Sections 8 through 14 and 17 through 34 of this act apply only to incidents occurring on or after January 1, 1998." [1997 c 386 § 67.]
Effective date -- 1997 c 386: "Sections 8 through 13 and 21 through 34 of this act take effect January 1, 1998." [1997 c 386 § 68.]
Finding -- Evaluation -- Report -- 1997 c 338: See note following RCW 13.40.0357.
Severability -- Effective dates -- 1997 c 338: See notes following RCW 5.60.060.
Effective dates -- 1996 c 232: See note following RCW 13.40.030.
Application -- 1994 sp.s. c 7 §§ 540-545: "Sections 540 through 545 of this act shall apply to offenses committed on or after July 1, 1994." [1994 sp.s. c 7 § 917.]
Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.
Severability -- 1990 c 246: See note following RCW 13.34.060.
Severability -- 1986 c 288: See note following RCW 13.32A.050.
Effective date -- Severability -- 1979 c 155: See notes following RCW 13.04.011.