2009 Louisiana Children's Code :: CHC 412 - Confidentiality of records; disclosure exceptions; sanctions

Art. 412. Confidentiality of records; disclosure exceptions; sanctions

A. Records and reports concerning all matters or proceedings before the juvenile court, except traffic violations, are confidential and shall not be disclosed except as expressly authorized by this Code. Any person authorized to review or receive confidential information shall preserve its confidentiality in the absence of express authorization for sharing with others.

B. Nonidentifying information of a general nature, including statistics, is not confidential and may be released without a court order. By court order, an individual may be authorized to review confidential records and reports, including case file samples, for the purpose of collecting nonidentifying general information, including statistics. The court order shall specify the type of information authorized for review and bind the reviewer to preserving the confidentiality of any identifying information reviewed.

C. Records and reports in individual cases may be released to parties, their counsel or other legal representatives, and court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) in accordance with discovery and disclosure provisions of this Code.

D. When such information is relevant and necessary to the performance of their respective duties and enhances services to the child or his family, the court may authorize the release of records, reports, or certain information contained therein to appropriate individuals representing:

(1) Other courts and court-affiliated programs.

(2) The Department of Children and Family Services.

(3) The office of juvenile justice of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

(4) The Department of Health and Hospitals.

(5) The Department of Education or the local school in which the child is a student.

(6) The local district attorney's office.

(7) A multidisciplinary investigative child abuse team.

(8) A child advocacy center.

(9) A truancy and assessment center.

(10) Other child serving agencies or programs.

(11) The attorney general's office.

E. For good cause when the information is material and necessary to a specific investigation or proceeding, the court may order the release of individual records and reports, or certain information contained therein, to a petitioner, limited to the specific purpose for which the court authorizes release.

F. The court may release records and reports concerning any proceeding, except adoption, to an adult who, as a child, was the subject of the proceeding. For good cause, the court may also order release of records and reports to the counsel or other appropriate legal representative of a child, still a minor, who was the subject of any proceedings, except adoption.

G. In accordance with Articles 811.1 and 811.3, the district attorney or court may release to the victim of a delinquent act constituting a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B), or to the victim's legal representative or designated family member:

(1) The results of adjudication and disposition hearings.

(2) Notice of the taking into custody, release pursuant to Chapter 6 of Title VIII of this Code, release due to a rejection of charges by the district attorney, escape, or re-apprehension of the child accused of the crime of violence against the victim.

(3) Advance notice of court proceedings relating to the delinquent act.

(4) Certain information contained in the predisposition report to the court pursuant to Article 890, limited to those items described in Subparagraphs (A)(1) and (2) and (D) of that Article.

H. The district attorney, law enforcement agency, or court may release to the public the following identifying information concerning an alleged or adjudicated delinquent child, provided the child was at least fourteen years old at the commission of the delinquent act:

(1) The name, age, and delinquent act for which the child is being charged whenever, in accordance with Article 820, the court has found probable cause that the child committed a crime of violence as defined by R.S. 14:2(B) or a second or subsequent felony-grade offense.

(2) The name, age, delinquent act, and disposition of a child who has been adjudicated delinquent for a crime of violence as defined by R.S. 14:2(B), for a second or subsequent felony-grade offense, or for the distribution or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance as defined in R.S. 40:961 et seq.

I. In order to assist in finding and taking into custody a child wanted for a felony-grade delinquent act involving an offense against the person or involving a dangerous weapon, law enforcement agencies may release to the public identifying information regarding the child if a court has issued an order for taking the child into custody pursuant to Article 813, or if probable cause that the child committed the alleged delinquent act has already been established pursuant to Article 820. Identifying information may include the child's name, age, alleged delinquent act, physical description, photograph, address, and, when appropriate, social security number and driver's license number.

J. Any violation of the confidentiality provisions of this Article shall be punishable as a constructive contempt of court pursuant to Article 1509(E).

K. Whenever a child escapes from a juvenile detention center, law enforcement agencies are hereby authorized to release to the public the child's name, age, physical description, and photograph.

Acts 1991, No. 235, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 596, §1; Acts 1993, No. 634, §1, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1993, No. 840, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 23, §2; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 76, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 120, §1, eff. July 7, 1994; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 140, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1313, §1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1999, No. 515, §1; Acts 1999, No. 976, §1; Acts 2001, No. 461, §1; Acts 2003, No. 567, §1; Acts 2008, No. 715, §1.

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