(a) The clerk shall maintain a complete record of all juvenile cases filed in the clerk's office to be known as the juvenile record. The record shall include the summons and petition, any secure or nonsecure custody order, any electronic or mechanical recording of hearings, and any written motions, orders, or papers filed in the proceeding.
(b) All juvenile records shall be withheld from public inspection and, except as provided in this subsection, may be examined only by order of the court. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the following persons may examine the juvenile's record and obtain copies of written parts of the record without an order of the court:
(1) The juvenile or the juvenile's attorney;
(2) The juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian, or the authorized representative of the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian;
(3) The prosecutor;
(4) Court counselors; and
(5) Probation officers in the Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, as provided in subsection (e1) of this section and in G.S. 15A-1341(e).
Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the prosecutor may, in the prosecutor's discretion, share information obtained from a juvenile's record with magistrates and law enforcement officers sworn in this State, but may not allow a magistrate or law enforcement officer to photocopy any part of the record.
(c) The court may direct the clerk to "seal" any portion of a juvenile's record. The clerk shall secure any sealed portion of a juvenile's record in an envelope clearly marked "SEALED: MAY BE EXAMINED ONLY BY ORDER OF THE COURT", or with similar notice, and shall permit examination or copying of sealed portions of a juvenile's record only pursuant to a court order specifically authorizing inspection or copying.
(d) Any portion of a juvenile's record consisting of an electronic or mechanical recording of a hearing shall be transcribed only when notice of appeal has been timely given and shall be copied electronically or mechanically, only by order of the court. After the time for appeal has expired with no appeal having been filed, the court may enter a written order directing the clerk to destroy the recording of the hearing.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the defendant in a criminal proceeding involving a Class A1 misdemeanor or a felony was less than 21 years of age at the time of the offense, information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) of this section regarding the juvenile's record of an adjudication of delinquency for an offense that would be a Class A1 misdemeanor or a felony if committed by an adult, where the adjudication occurred after the defendant reached 13 years of age, may be used by law enforcement, the magistrate, the courts, and the prosecutor for pretrial release, plea negotiating decisions, and plea acceptance decisions. Information obtained regarding any juvenile record shall remain confidential and shall not be placed in any public record.
(e1) When a person is subject to probation supervision under Article 82 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, for an offense that was committed while the person was less than 25 years of age, that person's juvenile record of an adjudication of delinquency for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult may be examined without a court order by the probation officer in the Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction assigned to supervise the person for the purpose of assessing risk related to supervision.
Each judicial district manager in the Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction shall designate a staff person in each county to obtain from the clerk, at the request of the probation officer assigned to supervise the person, any juvenile records authorized to be examined under this subsection. The judicial district manager shall inform the clerk in each county, in writing, of the designated staff person in the county. The designated staff person shall transfer any juvenile records obtained to the probation officer assigned to supervise the person.
Any copies of juvenile records obtained pursuant to this subsection shall continue to be withheld from public inspection and shall not become part of the public record in any criminal proceeding. Any copies of juvenile records shall be destroyed within 30 days of termination of the person's period of probation supervision. Any other information in the Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction records, relating to a person's juvenile record, shall remain confidential and shall be maintained or destroyed pursuant to guidelines established by the Department of Cultural Resources for the maintenance and destruction of Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction records.
(f) The juvenile's record of an adjudication of delinquency for an offense that would be a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felony if committed by an adult may be used in a subsequent criminal proceeding against the juvenile either under G.S. 8C-1, Rule 404(b), or to prove an aggravating factor at sentencing under G.S. 15A-1340.4(a), 15A-1340.16(d), or 15A-2000(e). The record may be so used only by order of the court in the subsequent criminal proceeding, upon motion of the prosecutor, after an in camera hearing to determine whether the record in question is admissible.
(g) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a juvenile's record shall be destroyed only as authorized by G.S. 7B-3200 or by rules adopted by the Administrative Office of the Courts. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1987, c. 297; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 7, s. 1; 1995, c. 462, s. 4; c. 509, s. 5; 1997-459, s. 2; 1998-202, s. 6; 2000-137, s. 3; 2002-159, s. 26; 2009-372, s. 1; 2009-545, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h), (k); 2011-277, s. 1; 2012-83, s. 17.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014