Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Expunging Juvenile Probation Records

Questions about criminal records rank among the top three most frequently-asked questions we get in the law libraries. The Mass. District Attorneys Association has a brief entry on their site about Expungement of Juvenile Probation Records. This entry explains the decision in Comm. v. Gavin G., 437 Mass. 470 (2002), saying "The SJC held that while Juvenile Court judges do have the authority to order expungement of police records, no such authority exists to order expungement of probation records." The Gavin G. decision also explains the security juvenile records already enjoy. "As to juvenile records maintained by the probation department, persons "other than any law enforcement agency, any court, or any appointing authority" seeking information from the probation department concerning "court appearances and adjudications in a case of delinquency or the case of a child in need of services" must be told that "no record exists." G. L. c. 276, § 100A. Thus, the only entities that may have access to such juvenile records, or who may even be informed that such records exist, are law enforcement agencies, courts, and appointing authorities." For more information about criminal records, and how to expunge or seal them, see Mass. Law About Criminal Records.