Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-8A-27

Article - Courts and Judicial Proceedings

§ 3-8A-27.

      (a)      (1)      A police record concerning a child is confidential and shall be maintained separate from those of adults. Its contents may not be divulged, by subpoena or otherwise, except by order of the court upon good cause shown or as otherwise provided in § 7-303 of the Education Article.

            (2)      This subsection does not prohibit:

                  (i)      Access to and confidential use of the record by the Department of Juvenile Services or in the investigation and prosecution of the child by any law enforcement agency; or

                  (ii)      A law enforcement agency of the State or of a political subdivision of the State, the Department of Juvenile Services, or the criminal justice information system from including in the law enforcement computer information system information about an outstanding juvenile court ordered writ of attachment, for the sole purpose of apprehending a child named in the writ.

      (b)      (1)      A court record pertaining to a child is confidential and its contents may not be divulged, by subpoena or otherwise, except by order of the court upon good cause shown or as provided in § 7-303 of the Education Article.

            (2)      This subsection does not prohibit access to and the use of the court record or fingerprints of a child described under Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the Criminal Procedure Article in a proceeding in the court involving the child, by personnel of the court, the State's Attorney, counsel for the child, a court-appointed special advocate for the child, or authorized personnel of the Department of Juvenile Services.

            (3)      (i)      Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, this subsection does not prohibit access to and confidential use of the court record or fingerprints of a child described under Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the Criminal Procedure Article by the Department of Juvenile Services or in an investigation and prosecution by a law enforcement agency.

                  (ii)      The court record or fingerprints of a child described under §§ 10-215(a)(21) and (22), 10-216, and 10-220 of the Criminal Procedure Article may not be disclosed to:

                        1.      A federal criminal justice agency or information center; or

                        2.      Any law enforcement agency other than a law enforcement agency of the State or a political subdivision of the State.

            (4)      (i)      This subsection does not prohibit access to and use of a court record by a judicial officer who is authorized under the Maryland Rules to determine a defendant's eligibility for pretrial release, counsel for the defendant, or the State's Attorney if:

                        1.      The individual who is the subject of the court record is charged as an adult with an offense;

                        2.      The access to and use of the court record is strictly limited for the purpose of determining the defendant's eligibility for pretrial release; and

                        3.      The court record concerns an adjudication of delinquency that occurred within 3 years of the date the individual is charged as an adult.

                  (ii)      The Court of Appeals may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this paragraph.

      (c)      The court, on its own motion or on petition, and for good cause shown, may order the court records of a child sealed, and, upon petition or on its own motion, shall order them sealed after the child has reached 21 years of age. If sealed, the court records of a child may not be opened, for any purpose, except by order of the court upon good cause shown.

      (d)      This section does not prohibit access to or use of any juvenile record by the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation or the Maryland Parole Commission when the Division or the Commission is carrying out any of their statutory duties either at the direction of a court of competent jurisdiction, or when the Maryland Parole Commission is carrying out any of its statutory duties, if the record concerns a charge or adjudication of delinquency.

      (e)      This section does not prohibit access to and use of any juvenile record by the Maryland Division of Correction when the Division is carrying out any of its statutory duties if: (1) the individual to whom the record pertains is committed to the custody of the Division; and (2) the record concerns an adjudication of delinquency.

      (f)      Subject to the provisions of Article 83C, § 2-115 of the Code, this section does not prohibit access to or use of any juvenile record for criminal justice research purposes. A record used under this subsection may not contain the name of the individual to whom the record pertains, or any other identifying information which could reveal the individual's name.

      (g)      This section does not prohibit a victim or victim's representative who has filed a notification request form from being notified of proceedings and events involving the defendant or child as provided in this subtitle, the Criminal Procedure Article, or the Criminal Law Article.