2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 46b-124. (Formerly Sec. 51-305). Confidentiality of records of juvenile matters. Exceptions.

      Sec. 46b-124. (Formerly Sec. 51-305). Confidentiality of records of juvenile matters. Exceptions. (a) For the purposes of this section, "records of cases of juvenile matters" includes, but is not limited to, court records, records regarding juveniles maintained by the Court Support Services Division, records regarding juveniles maintained by an organization or agency that has contracted with the judicial branch to provide services to juveniles, records of law enforcement agencies including fingerprints, photographs and physical descriptions, and medical, psychological, psychiatric and social welfare studies and reports by probation officers, public or private institutions, social agencies and clinics.

      (b) All records of cases of juvenile matters, as provided in section 46b-121, except delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, and all records of appeals from probate brought to the superior court for juvenile matters pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-186, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters, and open to inspection or disclosure to any third party, including bona fide researchers commissioned by a state agency, only upon order of the Superior Court, except that (1) the records concerning any matter transferred from a court of probate pursuant to section 45a-623 or subsection (g) of section 45a-715 or any appeal from probate to the superior court for juvenile matters pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-186 shall be available to the court of probate from which such matter was transferred or from which such appeal was taken, (2) such records shall be available to (A) the attorney representing the child or youth, including the Division of Public Defender Services, in any proceeding in which such records are relevant, (B) the parents or guardian of the child or youth until such time as the child or youth reaches the age of majority or becomes emancipated, (C) an adult adopted person in accordance with the provisions of sections 45a-736, 45a-737 and 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, (D) employees of the Division of Criminal Justice who in the performance of their duties require access to such records, (E) employees of the judicial branch who in the performance of their duties require access to such records, (F) another court under the provisions of subsection (d) of section 46b-115j, (G) the subject of the record, upon submission of satisfactory proof of the subject's identity, pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided the subject has reached the age of majority or has been emancipated, and (H) the Department of Children and Families. Any records of cases of juvenile matters, or any part thereof, provided to any persons, governmental and private agencies, and institutions pursuant to this section shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to any third party not specified in subsection (d) of this section, except as provided by court order or in the report required under section 54-76d or 54-91a.

      (c) All records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters and shall not be disclosed except as provided in this section.

      (d) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings shall be available to (1) judicial branch employees who, in the performance of their duties, require access to such records, and (2) employees and authorized agents of state or federal agencies involved in (A) the delinquency proceedings, (B) the provision of services directly to the child, or (C) the design and delivery of treatment programs pursuant to section 46b-121j. Such employees and authorized agents include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officials, state and federal prosecutorial officials, school officials in accordance with section 10-233h, court officials including officials of both the regular criminal docket and the docket for juvenile matters, officials of the Division of Criminal Justice, the Division of Public Defender Services, the Department of Children and Families, the Court Support Services Division, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and agencies under contract with the judicial branch, and an advocate appointed pursuant to section 54-221 for a victim of a crime committed by the child. Such records shall also be available to (i) the attorney representing the child, including the Division of Public Defender Services, in any proceeding in which such records are relevant, (ii) the parents or guardian of the child, until such time as the subject of the record reaches the age of majority, (iii) the subject of the record, upon submission of satisfactory proof of the subject's identity, pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided the subject has reached the age of majority, (iv) law enforcement officials and prosecutorial officials conducting legitimate criminal investigations, and (v) a state or federal agency providing services related to the collection of moneys due or funding to support the service needs of eligible juveniles, provided such disclosure shall be limited to that information necessary for the collection of and application for such moneys. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed, except that information contained in such records may be disclosed in connection with bail or sentencing reports in open court during criminal proceedings involving the subject of such information.

      (e) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, may be disclosed upon order of the court to any person who has a legitimate interest in the information and is identified in such order. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

      (f) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, shall be available to the victim of the crime committed by such child to the same extent as the record of the case of a defendant in a criminal proceeding in the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court is available to a victim of the crime committed by such defendant. The court shall designate an official from whom such victim may request such information. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

      (g) Information concerning a child who has escaped from a detention center or from a facility to which he has been committed by the court or for whom an arrest warrant has been issued with respect to the commission of a felony may be disclosed by law enforcement officials.

      (h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person employed by the judicial branch from disclosing any records, information or files in his possession to any person employed by the Division of Criminal Justice as a prosecutorial official, inspector or investigator who, in the performance of his duties, requests such records, information or files, or to prohibit any such employee of said division from disclosing any records, information or files in his possession to any such employee of the judicial branch who, in the performance of his duties, requests such records, information or files.

      (i) A state's attorney shall disclose to the defendant or his counsel in a criminal prosecution, without the necessity of a court order, exculpatory information and material contained in any record disclosed to such state's attorney pursuant to this section and may disclose, without a court order, information and material contained in any such record which could be the subject of a disclosure order.

      (1969, P.A. 794, S. 3; P.A. 75-602, S. 2, 13; P.A. 76-436, S. 13, 681; P.A. 77-246, S. 11; 77-486, S. 1, 2, 5; P.A. 78-280, S. 92, 127; 78-318, S. 27; P.A. 79-456; P.A. 80-165, S. 1; P.A. 81-472, S. 82, 159; P.A. 82-140, S. 1; P.A. 93-48; P.A. 94-221, S. 15; July Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-2, S. 10; P.A. 95-225, S. 12; 95-254, S. 3; 95-261, S. 1; P.A. 96-246, S. 35; P.A. 98-70, S. 1; P.A. 99-185, S. 35, 40; P.A. 02-132, S. 22; P.A. 03-202, S. 8; P.A. 04-234, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 75-602 added reference to youths; P.A. 76-436 replaced references to juvenile court with references to superior court and juvenile matters and added Subsec. (b) re confidentiality of complaint or information transferred from circuit to juvenile court before October 1, 1971, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-246 required that records be available to adult adopted persons; P.A. 77-486 added provisions requiring that records be available to judges and adult probation officers for consideration in sentencing or granting youthful offender status for person under twenty-one; P.A. 78-280 added exception re Sec. 54-76d or 54-109 in provision prohibiting disclosure to third party; P.A. 78-318 authorized disclosure to another court in custody proceedings; P.A. 79-456 required superior court order for disclosure of records to "bona fide researchers commissioned by a state agency"; Sec. 17-57a temporarily renumbered as Sec. 51-305 and ultimately transferred to Sec. 46b-124 in 1979, (see note to Sec. 17-57a) and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary by the Revisors to reflect their transfer; P.A. 80-165 authorized disclosure of information concerning disposition of criminal case to the victim of the crime if juvenile's identity is not revealed; P.A. 81-472 made technical corrections; P.A. 82-140 amended Subsec. (a) to permit disclosure of identity of child or youth to victim if the victim intends to bring a civil action for damages or if the child or youth is adjudicated delinquent; P.A. 93-48 added provision in Subsec. (a) re disclosure of records concerning adjudications re child abuse to state's attorney and added Subsec. (c) re disclosure of exculpatory information and material contained in disclosed record by state's attorney to defendant; P.A. 94-221 amended Subsec. (a) to add Subdiv. (4) re availability of information on the identity of a child arrested for a felony and the nature of the offense and Subdiv. (5) re the availability of information on the identity of a child adjudicated a delinquent as a result of a felony; July Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-2 amended Subsec. (a) to add a new Subdiv. (4) re the availability to a state's attorney of records concerning adjudications involving certain firearm-related offenses, renumbering the remaining Subdivs. accordingly, and amended Subsec. (c) to add reference to said Subdiv. (4); P.A. 95-225 substantially revised section by amending Subsec. (a) to add exception for proceedings concerning delinquent children, deleting former Subdivs. (2) to (6), inclusive, re specific exceptions to the prohibition on disclosure, deleting provision making delinquency records of any person who has not attained the age of twenty-one available to a judge and an adult probation officer in certain circumstances and provide that the prohibition on disclosure to a third party applies to a third party "not specified in subsection (c) of this section", deleting former Subsec. (b) re confidentiality of records transferred from the Circuit Court to the Juvenile Court prior to October 1, 1971, adding new Subsec. (b) re confidentiality of records of cases of juvenile matters involving proceedings concerning delinquent children, adding new Subsec. (c) re disclosure of delinquency records to certain individuals and agencies, adding Subsec. (d) re disclosure of delinquency records to persons with a legitimate interest therein upon order of the court, adding Subsec. (e) re availability of delinquency records to the victim of the crime, adding Subsec. (f) re disclosure of information concerning a child who has escaped or for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, adding Subsec. (g) re exchange of information between certain employees of the Judicial Department and the Division of Criminal Justice, and redesignating former Subsec. (c) re disclosure of information by a state's attorney to the defendant or his counsel as Subsec. (h) and amended said Subsec. to make technical changes; P.A. 95-254 amended Subsec. (a) by applying provisions to records of appeals from probate brought to Juvenile Court pursuant to Subsec. (b) of 45a-186 and to add provision making such records available to court of probate from which such appeal was taken; P.A. 95-261 would have amended Subsec. (a) specifying Office of Adult Probation and Office of the Bail Commission as agencies which may obtain delinquency records where previous availability was limited to adult probation officers, but failed to take effect, P.A. 95-225 having repealed language on which the changes relied; P.A. 96-246 added Subdiv. (3) to Subsec. (a) re psychological evaluations being available to Commissioner of Children and Families for purposes of diagnosing, caring for or treating child; P.A. 98-70 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "concerning delinquent children" and adding "delinquency" and by deleting former Subdiv. (3) and adding availability of records to attorney, including public defender, for child or youth, parents or guardian, employees of Division of Criminal Justice, employees of judicial branch, another court, the subject of the record, provided subject provides proof of identity and has reached the age of majority or is emancipated, and the Department of Children and Families; amended Subsec. (b) by deleting "concerning delinquent children" and adding "delinquency"; amended Subsec. (c) by providing availability of records re delinquency proceedings to judicial branch employees, employees and certain authorized agents of state or federal agencies, including Division of Public Defender Services, Office of Adult Probation, Office of Bail Commissioner, Board of Parole and agencies under contract with Office of Alternative Sanctions, to parent or guardian, to the subject of the record upon proof of identity and reaching age of majority and to a state or federal agency providing funding to support needs of eligible juveniles, and by adding provision re disclosure in connection with bail or sentencing reports; amended Subsecs. (d) and (e) by deleting "concerning a delinquent child" and adding "delinquency"; and amended Subsec. (g) by deleting "as a juvenile prosecutor, inspector or investigator"; P.A. 99-185 amended Subdiv. (2) of Subsec. (a) by changing reference to section 46b-111 to Subsec. (d) of Sec. 46b-115j, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 02-132 amended Subsec. (c) by replacing "Office of Adult Probation, the Office of the Bail Commissioner" with "Court Support Services Division", replacing "Office of Alternative Sanctions" with "Judicial Department" and making a technical change; P.A. 03-202 added new Subsec. (a) defining "records of cases of juvenile matters", redesignated existing Subsecs. (a) to (h) as Subsecs. (b) to (i), replaced references to "Judicial Department" with references to "judicial branch" and made technical and conforming changes; P.A. 04-234 replaced Board of Parole with Board of Pardons and Paroles, effective July 1, 2004.

      Annotation to former section 17-57a:

      Cited. 33 CS 599.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 195 C. 303, 310. Cited. 211 C. 151, 160. Cited. 214 C. 454, 460, 463. History and policy discussed. 216 C. 563- 565, 567-584. Confidentiality statute cited. Id. Cited. 221 C. 447, 459. Cited. 227 C. 641, 643. Cited. 229 C. 691, 697. Cited. 235 C. 595, 606. Cited. 237 C. 364, 374.

      Cited. 21 CA 654, 661. Cited. 36 CA 345, 351. Section provides an exception to confidentiality provision for child's parent but only until the child reaches the age of majority; and while statute does not create a statutory privilege against disclosure of juvenile records for family members of child who is the subject of proceedings in juvenile matters, it is appropriate to consider the nature of the information generally contained in juvenile records to decide whether the records should remain confidential. 76 CA 730.

      Cited. 36 CS 352, 355. Cited. 40 CS 316. Cited. 41 CS 23. Cited. Id., 145. Cited. Id., 229. Cited. Id., 505. Cited. 42 CS 562. Cited. 43 CS 38, 40. Cited. Id., 108. Cited. Id., 211. Cited. Id., 367. Cited. 44 CS 101. Cited. Id., 235. Cited. Id., 437. Cited. Id., 468. Cited. Id., 527. Cited. Id., 551.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 215 C. 739, 746. Cited. 216 C. 563, 578, 580.

      Cited. 1 CA 584, 585, 589, 590. Cited. 45 CA 508. Court abused its discretion by ordering that attachment of a copy of its memorandum of decision in a termination of parental rights case be appended to any future requests by child's foster parents for a restraining order to prevent respondent father from contacting them. 56 CA 55.

      Subsec. (d):

      Victim not permitted to use actual documents released by juvenile court in civil action for damages but may use information in documents to uncover admissible evidence. 45 CS 315.

      Subsec. (e):

      Extent to which court may release juvenile records to victim of a delinquent act and whether child required to be adjudicated a delinquent before victim entitled to release of information. 45 CS 315.

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