2010 Arkansas Code
9-27-309. Confidentiality of records.
Title 9 - Family Law
Subtitle 3 - Minors
Chapter 27 - Juvenile Courts And Proceedings
Subchapter 3 - Arkansas Juvenile Code
§ 9-27-309 - Confidentiality of records.
(a) All records may be closed and confidential within the discretion of the circuit court, except:
(1) Adoption records, including any part of a dependency-neglect record that includes adoption records, shall be closed and confidential as provided in the Revised Uniform Adoption Act, 9-9-201 et seq.;
(2) Records of delinquency adjudications for which a juvenile could have been tried as an adult shall be made available to prosecuting attorneys for use at sentencing if the juvenile is subsequently tried as an adult or to determine if the juvenile should be tried as an adult; and
(3) Records of delinquency adjudications for a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for any felony or a Class A misdemeanor wherein violence or a weapon was involved shall be made available to the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
(b) (1) (A) Records of delinquency adjudications for which a juvenile could have been tried as an adult shall be kept for ten (10) years after the last adjudication of delinquency or the date of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt as an adult.
(B) Thereafter they may be expunged.
(2) The court may expunge other juvenile records at any time and shall expunge all the records of a juvenile upon his or her twenty-first birthday, in other types of delinquency, dependency-neglect, or families in need of services cases.
(3) For purposes of this section, "expunge" means to destroy.
(c) Records of juveniles who are designated as extended juvenile jurisdiction offenders shall be kept for ten (10) years after the last adjudication of delinquency, date of plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or finding of guilt as an adult or until the juvenile's twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer.
(d) (1) If an adult criminal sentence is imposed on an extended juvenile jurisdiction offender, the record of that case shall be considered an adult criminal record.
(2) (A) The court shall enter an order transferring the juvenile record to the clerk who is the custodian of adult criminal records.
(B) The clerk shall assign a criminal docket number and shall maintain the file as if the case had originated as a criminal case.
(e) This section does not apply to nor restrict the use or publication of statistics, data, or other materials that summarize or refer to any records, reports, statements, notes, or other information in the aggregate and that do not refer to or disclose the identity of any juvenile defendant in any proceeding when used only for the purpose of research and study.
(f) This subchapter does not preclude prosecuting attorneys or the court from providing information, upon written request, concerning the disposition of juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent to:
(1) The victim or his or her next of kin; or
(2) The school superintendent of the school district in which the juvenile is currently enrolled.
(g) When a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for an offense for which he or she could have been charged as an adult or for unlawful possession of a handgun, 5-73-119, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the school superintendent of the school district in which the juvenile is currently enrolled.
(h) Information provided pursuant to subsections (f) and (g) of this section shall not be released in violation of any state or federal law protecting the privacy of the juvenile.
(i) (1) If a juvenile is arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm under 5-73-119, an offense involving a deadly weapon under 5-1-102, or battery in the first degree under 5-13-201, the arresting agency shall as soon as practical and with all reasonable haste cause written notification of the arrest to be given to the superintendent of the school district in which the juvenile is currently enrolled.
(2) (A) The superintendent shall then notify the principal and the resource officer of the school in which the juvenile is currently enrolled.
(B) The arrest information shall be treated as confidential information and shall not be disclosed by the superintendent to any person other than the principal and resource officer, who shall also maintain the information as confidential.
(3) The arrest information shall be used by the school only for the limited purpose of obtaining services for the juvenile or to ensure school safety.
(j) Records of the arrest of a juvenile, the detention of a juvenile, and the proceedings under this subchapter shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, 25-19-101 et seq., unless:
(1) Authorized by a written order of the juvenile division of circuit court; or
(2) The arrest or the proceedings under this subchapter result in the juvenile's being formally charged in the criminal division of circuit court for a felony.
(k) Information regarding the arrest or detention of a juvenile and related proceedings under this subchapter shall be confidential unless the exchange of information is:
(1) For the purpose of obtaining services for the juvenile or to ensure public safety;
(2) Reasonably necessary to achieve one (1) or both purposes; and
(3) Under a written order by the circuit court.
(l) (1) The information may be given only to the following persons:
(A) A school counselor;
(B) A juvenile court probation officer or caseworker;
(C) A law enforcement officer;
(D) A spiritual representative designated by the juvenile or his or her parents or legal guardian;
(E) A Department of Human Services caseworker;
(F) A community-based provider designated by the court, the school, or the parent or legal guardian of the juvenile;
(G) A Department of Health representative; or
(H) The juvenile's attorney ad litem or other court-appointed special advocate.
(2) The persons listed in subdivision (l)(1) of this section may meet to exchange information, to discuss options for assistance to the juvenile, to develop and implement a plan of action to assist the juvenile, and to ensure public safety.
(3) The juvenile and his or her parent or legal guardian shall be notified within a reasonable time before a meeting and may attend any meeting of the persons referred to in subdivision (l)(1) of this section when three (3) or more individuals meet to discuss assistance for the juvenile or protection of the public due to the juvenile's behavior.
(4) Medical records, psychiatric records, psychological records, and related information shall remain confidential unless the juvenile's parent or legal guardian waives confidentiality in writing specifically describing the records to be disclosed between the persons listed in subdivision (l)(1) of this section and the purpose for the disclosure.
(5) Persons listed in subdivision (l)(1) of this section who exchange any information referred to in this section may be held civilly liable for disclosure of the information if the person does not comply with limitations set forth in this section.
(m) (1) When a court orders that a juvenile have a safety plan that restricts or requires supervised contact with another juvenile or juveniles as it relates to student safety, the court shall direct that a copy of the safety plan and a copy of the court order regarding the safety plan concerning student safety be provided to the school superintendent and principal where the juvenile is enrolled.
(2) When a court order amends or removes any safety plan outlined in subdivision (m)(1) of this section, the court shall direct that a copy of the safety plan and a copy of the court order regarding the safety plan, as it relates to student safety, be provided to the school superintendent and principal where the juvenile is enrolled.
(3) The superintendent or principal shall provide verbal notification only to school officials who are necessary to implement the safety plan as ordered by the court to ensure student safety. This verbal notification may only be provided to assistant principals, counselors, and the school employee who is primarily responsible for the juvenile learning environment where the juvenile is currently enrolled, and bus drivers if applicable.
(4) Any school officials that receive a court order and safety plan or information concerning the court order and safety plan shall:
(A) Keep the information confidential and shall sign a statement not to disclose the information concerning the court order and safety plan that shall be kept by the superintendent or principal along with the court order and safety plan;
(B) Keep the information confidential and shall not disclose the information to any person not listed in subdivision (l)(1) of this section;
(C) Include the information in the juvenile's permanent educational records; and
(D) (i) Treat the information and documentation contained in the court order as education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
(ii) A school official shall not release, disclose, or make available the information and documentation contained in the court order for inspection to any party except as permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
(iii) However, the local education agency shall not under any circumstance release, disclose, or make available for inspection to the public, any college, university, institution of higher learning, vocational or trade school, or any past, present, or future employer of the student the court order or safety plan portion of a student record.
(5) When a student attains an age that he or she is no longer under the jurisdiction of the juvenile division of circuit court, the safety plan and the order regarding the safety plan shall be removed from the juvenile's permanent records at the local education agency and destroyed.
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