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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

260C.171 Records.

Subdivision 1. Records required to be kept. The juvenile court judge shall keep such minutes and in such manner as the court deems necessary and proper. The juvenile court shall provide, upon the request of any other juvenile court, copies of the records concerning adjudications involving the particular child.

The court shall also keep an index in which files pertaining to juvenile matters shall be indexed under the name of the child. After the name of each file shall be shown the file number and, if ordered by the court, the book and page of the register in which the documents pertaining to such file are listed. The court shall also keep a register properly indexed in which shall be listed under the name of the child all documents filed pertaining to the child and in the order filed. The list shall show the name of the document and the date of filing thereof. The juvenile court legal records shall be deposited in files and shall include the petition, summons, notice, findings, orders, decrees, judgments, and motions and such other matters as the court deems necessary and proper. Unless otherwise provided by law, all court records shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of any child to whom the records relate, and to the child's parent and guardian.

Subd. 2. Public inspection of records. (a) The following records from proceedings or portions of proceedings involving a child in need of protection or services that are open to the public as authorized by supreme court order and court rules are accessible to the public unless the court determines that access should be restricted because of the intensely personal nature of the information:

(1) the summons and petition;

(2) affidavits of publication and service;

(3) certificates of representation;

(4) court orders;

(5) hearing and trial notices, witness lists, and subpoenas;

(6) motions and legal memoranda;

(7) exhibits introduced at hearings or trial that are not inaccessible under paragraph (b);

(8) birth certificates; and

(9) all other documents not listed as inaccessible to the public under paragraph (b).

(b) The following records are not accessible to the public under paragraph (a):

(1) written, audiotaped, or videotaped information from the social services agency, except to the extent the information appears in the petition, court orders, or other documents that are accessible under paragraph (a);

(2) child protection intake or screening notes;

(3) documents identifying reporters of maltreatment, unless the names and other identifying information are redacted;

(4) guardian ad litem reports;

(5) victim statements and addresses and telephone numbers;

(6) documents identifying nonparty witnesses under the age of 18, unless the names and other identifying information are redacted;

(7) transcripts of testimony taken during closed hearing;

(8) fingerprinting materials;

(9) psychological, psychiatric, and chemical dependency evaluations;

(10) presentence evaluations of juveniles and probation reports;

(11) medical records and test results;

(12) reports issued by sexual predator programs;

(13) diversion records of juveniles;

(14) any document which the court, upon its own motion or upon motion of a party, orders inaccessible to serve the best interests of the child; and

(15) any other records that are not accessible to the public under rules developed by the courts.

In addition, records that are accessible to the public under paragraph (a) become inaccessible to the public if one year has elapsed since either the proceeding was dismissed or the court's jurisdiction over the matter was terminated.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, none of the records of the juvenile court and none of the records relating to an appeal from a nonpublic juvenile court proceeding, except the written appellate opinion, shall be open to public inspection or their contents disclosed except by order of a court.

(d) The records of juvenile probation officers are records of the court for the purposes of this subdivision. This subdivision applies to all proceedings under this chapter, including appeals from orders of the juvenile court. The court shall maintain the confidentiality of adoption files and records in accordance with the provisions of laws relating to adoptions. In juvenile court proceedings any report or social history furnished to the court shall be open to inspection by the attorneys of record and the guardian ad litem a reasonable time before it is used in connection with any proceeding before the court.

(e) When a judge of a juvenile court, or duly authorized agent of the court, determines under a proceeding under this chapter that a child has violated a state or local law, ordinance, or regulation pertaining to the operation of a motor vehicle on streets and highways, except parking violations, the judge or agent shall immediately report the violation to the commissioner of public safety. The report must be made on a form provided by the department of public safety and must contain the information required under section 169.95.

Subd. 3. Attorney access to records. An attorney representing a child, parent, or guardian ad litem in a proceeding under this chapter shall be given access to records, local social services agency files, and reports which form the basis of any recommendation made to the court. An attorney does not have access under this subdivision to the identity of a person who made a report under section 626.556. The court may issue protective orders to prohibit an attorney from sharing a specified record or portion of a record with a client other than a guardian ad litem.

Subd. 4. County attorney referral of child in need of protection or services. In a county in which the county attorney refers children who are in need of protection or services to community programs, the county attorney may provide a community program with data on a child who is a participant or being considered for participation in the program.

Subd. 5. Further release of records. A person who receives access to juvenile court or peace officer records of children that are not accessible to the public may not release or disclose the records to any other person except as authorized by law. This subdivision does not apply to the child who is the subject of the records or the child's parent or guardian.

HIST: 1999 c 139 art 3 s 16