Sealing Juvenile Records
The following are the minimum eligibility requirements for obtaining a record seal:
- You must be at least 18 years of age or;
- If you are under 18 years of age, be off of probation for five years.
- Have no felony convictions as an adult.
- Have no serious misdemeanor convictions as an adult that involve moral turpitude (theft, crimes of violence, sex crimes).
- Have no unresolved civil actions filed against the peace officers, law enforcement agencies, or probation officers that arrested you as a juvenile, issued the citation, or commenced the juvenile proceedings against you.
WHAT IF I WAS ARRESTED AS A JUVENILE BUT NEVER PLACED ON PROBATION?
- If you were arrested as a juvenile but never placed on probation, you are still able to seal your record through this process.
WHO MAY PETITION FOR A JUVENILE RECORD SEAL?
- You may personally petition the court to seal your records.
- You may request that the Probation Department petition the court for you.
WHO IS NOT LIKELY TO HAVE THEIR JUVENILE RECORD SEALED?
Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee the court will grant a petition to seal records. A judge will not seal juvenile records unless he or she is satisfied you have attained rehabilitation. Though most petitions to seal juvenile records are granted, some reasons a judge will deny a petition include:
- You were committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities (formerly CYA) and have not reached the age of 21;
- You were committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities (formerly CYA) and have not completed your period of probation supervision after release from the division.
What Other Factors Will the Court Consider?
The judge will consider the following circumstances in deciding whether you have sufficiently attained rehabilitation to justify sealing your records:
- Is there any civil lawsuit pending against you related to the facts that were involved in your juvenile case?
- Do you have any recent arrests or citations including traffic matters?
- Are you currently on formal or informal/summary probation or parole?
IS THERE A FILING FEE?
- If you are between 18-25 years old, there is no filing fee to seal your record(s).
- If you are 26 years old or older and you are requesting that the Probation Department file the petition on your behalf, a fee of $60.00 is due to the Probation Department at the time of filing the application to have your record sealed.
- If for any reason your petition is not granted or your application is rejected, the fees are not refundable.
- Make Checks Payable to: Inyo County Probation Department
What if You Cannot Afford to Pay the Filing Fee?
- The court may make a finding at the time of your hearing that you have the inability to pay, and your application fee may be refunded.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION AND FILING PROCESS?
- If you file the petition with the court on your own behalf, you must file California Judicial Council form JV-595. A link to that document is available on this page. NOTE: You must petition the court in the county where you have a juvenile record, for example, if you live in Inyo County but your juvenile record is in Los Angeles County, you must petition the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court.
- If you would like the Probation Department to file the petition on your behalf, you must submit an Inyo County Probation Department Application to Seal Juvenile Record. A copy of that application is available on this page. Any applicable fees are due at the time you submit your application.
- Checks are payable to: Inyo County Probation Department.
- After you submit your application and pay the filing fee, your case will be assigned to a Deputy Probation Officer to investigate your eligibility to seal your record.
WHAT DOES THE DEPUTY PROBATION OFFICER DO?
The Deputy Probation Officer will determine if you are eligible to seal your juvenile record. This may include reviewing your juvenile case and checking your criminal record to determine if you have not committed any crimes since obtaining the age of 18, and that you are not currently on probation or parole.
If the Deputy Probation Officer finds you are not eligible, a rejection letter will be mailed to you informing you why your application was denied and when and if you are eligible to reapply.
If the Deputy Probation Officer finds you are eligible, he or she will:
- Prepare the petition to seal records.
- Mail you a copy of the petition for review.
- File the petition with the Inyo County Superior Court.
After the petition has been filed, the court will set a date, time and place for your record seal hearing and notify you. You are generally not required to appear in court for the hearing.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY RECORD IS SEALED?
- If the Court orders your juvenile record sealed, the juvenile proceedings are deemed, by law, to have never occurred, and you can lawfully tell anyone you have no juvenile record.
- The Court will send a copy of the order to each agency and official who has any of your records, directing them to seal and destroy your records. This included law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney, the Probation Department, and any other agencies involved in your juvenile case.
- Vehicle Code charges, however, cannot be sealed from access by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV must grant insurance companies access to your sealed driving records for the purpose of determining your eligibility for automobile insurance, and determining the rates the insurance company will charge you if they issue an insurance policy.
- Generally, once your records are sealed, they cannot be unsealed unless you request it. Unsealing records for any purpose requires a court hearing and order, however, if you ever sue someone for defamation of character, the judge, the jury, and all parties named in the suit may be allowed to view your sealed records.
- Records in the purview of the court are destroyed;
- Five years after the record was ordered sealed, or
- When you turn 38 years old.
Your Probation Department application to seal juvenile record may be dropped off, with any applicable fees, at any Inyo County Probation Department office, or you may mail it, along with a money order for any applicable fees to:
Inyo County Probation Department
Attn: Juvenile Division
P.O. Box T
Independence, CA 93526
If you elect to file the petition on your own without Probation Department assistance, you must personally file it with the Inyo County Superior Court.