(a) Records Confidential.
(1) Juvenile court records are confidential and not open to inspection or release except as provided by N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-21 and the rules of the supreme court.
(2) Disclosure of papers, reports, notes, files, or records may be restricted or authorized by court order, except that judge, referee or court personnel work material and notes may not be released to anyone under any circumstances.
(b) Disclosure of Records.
(1) In General. N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-21(1) lists the persons and entities who may routinely inspect juvenile court files and records.
(2) Court Order. Upon written request or motion a judge or referee of the juvenile court may permit inspection or release of pertinent information of all or some portion of a court record to the persons and entities listed in N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-21(2) and the following:(A) persons or agencies conducting pertinent research studies;(B) the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family on behalf of the victim or to an insurance company representing the victim;(C) the military if a release of information has been signed by the subject of the petition or the parents of the subject if the child is under 18 years of age.(3) Social Service Reports. Social service reports (960's) may be released under Rule 12 to attorneys representing the parties involved. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, names of persons reporting the alleged incident must be deleted from the reports. See N.D.C.C. Section 50-25.1-11(1)(d).
(4) Statistical Information. Statistics and other general information which do not identify parties and which are generated in the normal cause of business may be released to any party, including the press. Requests for special reports or information must be forwarded to the State Court Administrator.
(5) Drug and Alcohol Treatment Records. Drug and alcohol treatment records within a file and which are confidential under 42 CFR Part 2 may not be disclosed unless:(A) the person who is the subject of the records has signed a valid consent form authorizing disclosure;(B) the court has found there is good cause for disclosure and has issued an authorizing order in accordance with 42 CFR Section 2.64 or 2.66, as applicable; or(C) the court has issued an order authorizing disclosure in accordance with 42 CFR Section 2.63 or 2.65, as applicable.For purposes of this paragraph, "disclosure" includes duplication of records permitted under Rule 19(c).
(6) Research. The chief justice may authorize the release of information from juvenile records for research purposes when the Supreme Court has requested such research, or a research project has been proposed, and the chief justice has determined that the research results may be used to improve court response to issues of delinquency, deprivation, minor guardianship, or termination of parental rights.
(c) Copying Records.
(1) Documents not original to the juvenile court may not be duplicated except:(A) for purposes of conducting a hearing, documents may be duplicated but must be returned to the court after the hearing; or(B) upon written approval of the agency which originally created the document; or(C) upon order of the court.(2) Documents generated by the juvenile court may be duplicated as appropriate to meet the informational needs of the entities or persons listed in N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-21(1) or any other person or entity considered appropriate by the court.
(d) Early Destruction of Records. A party who is the subject of a delinquency or unruly proceeding may petition the court for early destruction of records. The state's attorney of the county in which the records are held must be notified of the request. The judge may order the early destruction upon a showing of good cause to destroy the records by the party. The records may not be destroyed if it is known that the subject of the motion has criminal charges pending before any other court.
Rule 19 took effect May 1, 2015. Amended effective March 1, 2021; July 1, 2021.
Rule 19 consolidates provisions previously contained in the Unified Judicial System Policy Manual. Subdivisions (a), (b) and (c) are derived from Policy 402 on Juvenile Court Records. Subdivision (d) is derived from Policy 403 on Expungement.
Paragraph (b)(6) was added, effective March 1, 2021, to allow the chief justice to authorize the release of information from juvenile records for research purposes.
Rule 19 was amended, effective July 1, 2021, to update terminology and statutory references consistent with the July 1, 2021, amendments to the Juvenile Court Act, N.D.C.C. chs. 27-20.2, 27- 20.3, and 27-20.4.
Sources: Juvenile Policy Board Minutes of September 5, 2014, page 5. Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 24, 2020, pages 9-10; January 29-30, 2015, page 8; September 25-26, 2014, pages 18-20.
Considered: N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-21; ch 54-23.4; § 50-25.1-11(1)(d).
Cross Reference: N.D.R.Juv.P. 12 (Discovery); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41 (Access to Court Records).