The Welfare and Institutions Code dictates destruction of juvenile records. All references to statutes are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Destruction of records for juveniles can occur when the minor reaches 21 years old where the court took jurisdiction under § 601, or 5 years after the court orders the sealing. §§ 826(a), 781(d). Destruction of juvenile records where the court takes jurisdiction pursuant to § 300 occurs when the dependent reaches the age of 28. § 826(a). Destruction of juvenile records where the court takes jurisdiction pursuant to § 602 occurs when the ward reaches the age of 38, except where the crime comes within 707(b) and the youth was at least 14 years old upon commission of the crime. §§ 826(a), 781(d). The court shall not destroy records for juveniles who are held responsible for committing a 707(b) offense at age 14 or older. Id.

Any other agency with sealed records from §§ 601, 602 cases can destroy the records 5 years from the date of the court’s sealing order. § 781(d).

The court can make a good cause finding not to destroy the records in a particular juvenile case file. §§ 826(a), 781(d).

There is a sealing statute for dependents allowing for destruction of § 300 records five years from the date of sealing unless the court finds good cause to retain the records. § 389. The practice of sealing juvenile dependents’ records does not occur in El Dorado County. Until and unless there are requests for sealing of dependents’ juvenile records, the court will follow the aforementioned requirements of § 826 and destroy the records when the dependent turns 28.


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