An Act To Limit Access to Juvenile Case Records and Protect the Confidentiality of Juvenile History Record Information
Sec. 1. 15 MRSA §709, sub-§1-B, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 507, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 2. 15 MRSA §3009, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2003, c. 205, §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 15 MRSA §3010 is enacted to read:
§ 3010. Dissemination of juvenile history record information by a Maine criminal justice agency
Sec. 4. 15 MRSA §3307, as amended by PL 2019, c. 525, §16, is further amended to read:
§ 3307. Publicity and record Disclosure of juvenile's identity
This section does not preclude the disclosure of the identity of a juvenile on conditional release pursuant to section 3203-A or on informal adjustment pursuant to section 3301 to a criminal justice agency for the administration of juvenile justice, as "administration of juvenile justice" is defined by section 3010, subsection 1, paragraph B, or to the Department of Health and Human Services if necessary to carry out the statutory functions of that agency.
Sec. 5. 15 MRSA §3308, as amended by PL 2019, c. 525, §17, is repealed.
Sec. 6. 15 MRSA §3308-A, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2019, c. 525, §19, is further amended to read:
Sec. 7. 15 MRSA §3308-A, sub-§3, ¶D, as amended by PL 2019, c. 525, §21, is further amended by amending subparagraph (2) to read:
(1) Statute; or
(2) A court order pursuant to section 3307 or 3308 3308-C.
As used in this paragraph, "agent" means a licensed professional investigator or an immediate family member if, due to death, age, physical or mental disease, disorder or intellectual disability or autism, the victim cannot realistically act on the victim's own behalf;
Sec. 8. 15 MRSA §3308-C is enacted to read:
§ 3308-C. Confidentiality of juvenile case records
(1) The juvenile has had a first appearance with respect to the petition in the Juvenile Court;
(2) The prosecuting attorney requests in writing that the juvenile petition be open to public inspection;
(3) The Juvenile Court finds there is probable cause to believe the juvenile committed a juvenile crime that would constitute murder, a violation of Title 17-A, section 204 or a Class A, B or C crime if the juvenile involved were an adult; and
(4) After notice to the juvenile and the juvenile's parent or parents, guardian or legal custodian and a hearing in which the Juvenile Court considers the purposes of this Part, the alleged victim's interest in privacy, the nature of the juvenile crime alleged and the characteristics of the juvenile and public safety concerns as outlined in section 3101, subsection 4, paragraph D, the court determines that the general public's right to information substantially outweighs the juvenile's interest in privacy.
The names and identifying information regarding any alleged minor victims must be redacted prior to allowing inspection of any juvenile petition.
When the State files a request to allow public inspection of a petition under this subsection, the Juvenile Court shall advise the juvenile and the juvenile's parent or parents, guardian or legal custodian of the potential consequences of juvenile case records being available to the public and the juvenile's right to be represented by counsel.
(1) "Administration of criminal justice" has the same meaning as in Title 16, section 703, subsection 1.
(2) "Administration of juvenile criminal justice" means activities related to the apprehension, summonsing, detention, conditional or unconditional release, informal adjustment, initial appearance, bind over, adjudication, disposition, custody and supervision or rehabilitation of accused juvenile or adjudicated juvenile criminal offenders. "Administration of juvenile criminal justice" includes the collection, storage and dissemination of juvenile intelligence and investigative record information and juvenile case records.
(3) "Criminal justice agency" has the same meaning as in Title 16, section 703, subsection 4.
(4) "Juvenile intelligence and investigative record information" has the same meaning as in section 3308-A, subsection 1, paragraph E.
(1) The juvenile has been adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime;
(2) The information is disseminated by and to persons who directly supervise or report on the health, behavior or progress of the juvenile, the superintendent of the juvenile's school and the superintendent's designees, criminal justice agencies or agencies that are or might become responsible for the health or welfare of the juvenile as a result of a court order or by agreement with the Department of Corrections or the Department of Health and Human Services; and
(3) The information is relevant to and disseminated only for the purpose of creating or maintaining an individualized plan for the juvenile's rehabilitation, including reintegration into a school.
Any information received under this paragraph is confidential and may not be further disclosed or disseminated, except as otherwise provided by law.
The Juvenile Court may not order the disclosure, dissemination or inspection of juvenile case records unless the juvenile, the juvenile's attorney or, if the juvenile does not have an attorney, the juvenile's attorney of record and the prosecuting attorney are given notice of the request and an opportunity to be heard regarding the request. In deciding whether to allow the disclosure, dissemination or inspection of any portion of juvenile case records under this paragraph, the court shall consider the purposes of this Part and the reasons for which the request is being made and may restrict the disclosure, dissemination or inspection of the juvenile case records in any manner the court determines necessary or appropriate.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, juvenile case records must be open to inspection by or may be disseminated to the Victims' Compensation Board established in Title 5, section 12004-J, subsection 11 if a juvenile is alleged to have committed an offense upon which an application to the board is based.
Nothing in this Part may be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary of State, pursuant to Title 29-A, to suspend a person's driver's license or permit to operate a motor vehicle, right to operate a motor vehicle or right to apply for or obtain a driver's license.
(1) At least 3 years have passed since the person's discharge from the disposition ordered for that juvenile crime;
(2) Since the date of disposition, the person has not been adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime and has not been convicted of committing a crime; and
(3) There are no current adjudicatory proceedings pending for a juvenile or other crime.
(1) The courts and criminal justice agencies as provided by this section; and
(2) The person whose juvenile case records are sealed or that person's designee.
Sec. 9. 15 MRSA §3308-D is enacted to read:
§ 3308-D. Confidentiality of Juvenile Court proceedings
Sec. 10. 15 MRSA §3318-A, sub-§5, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 282, §4, is amended to read:
Sec. 11. 15 MRSA §3506-A, sub-§7, as enacted by PL 1989, c. 126, §2, is amended to read:
Sec. 12. 20-A MRSA §1055, sub-§12, as amended by PL 2003, c. 205, §7, is further amended to read:
Confidentiality of the criminal justice information regarding juveniles must be ensured at all times and the information may be released by a member of the reintegration team only under the conditions of this subsection. The superintendent shall ensure that confidentiality training is provided to all school employees who have access to the information.
Sec. 13. 20-A MRSA §6001-B, sub-§3-A, as amended by PL 2003, c. 205, §8, is further amended to read:
Sec. 14. 34-A MRSA §1001, sub-§21, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 633, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 15. 34-A MRSA §1216, sub-§1, ¶D, as amended by PL 2017, c. 432, Pt. F, §2, is further amended to read:
This bill defines "confidential juvenile history record information" and "public juvenile history record information" and creates statutory authority governing the dissemination of juvenile history record information by a Maine criminal justice agency to create consistency between which juvenile case records may be open to public inspection at the courts and information that may be shared publicly by a criminal justice agency.
It modifies the Maine Juvenile Code to limit access to juvenile case records and reorganize existing provisions based on whether they allow disclosure of a juvenile's identity, allow inspection of juvenile case records, allow dissemination of juvenile case records or allow the general public access to Juvenile Court proceedings. It provides that a victim or an agent of the victim may inspect the juvenile petition and order of adjudication regardless of whether the general public may do so.
This bill allows automatic public inspection of juvenile petitions only if the petition alleges murder, felony murder or manslaughter and the juvenile has attained 13 years of age at the time of the offense. Petitions alleging that a juvenile under 13 years of age has committed murder, felony murder, manslaughter, aiding or soliciting suicide or any crime that would be a Class A, B or C crime may be open to public inspection only if authorized by court order. Juvenile petitions may be open to public inspection only after the juvenile's first appearance in the Juvenile Court to ensure that the Juvenile Court has determined there is probable cause to believe the juvenile committed the crime alleged and there is no assertion that the juvenile is not competent to proceed in the Juvenile Court.
It provides that only orders of adjudication for juvenile crimes that would constitute murder or Class A, B or C crimes if the juvenile were an adult are open to public inspection and dissemination by a court or criminal justice agency.
It clarifies that the general public may not be excluded from any Juvenile Court proceeding when a juvenile petition is open to public inspection pursuant to statute or court order. A victim or an agent of the victim may be present at all court proceedings regardless of whether the proceeding is open to the general public.
It makes all juvenile case records and all Juvenile Court proceedings confidential when Juvenile Court proceedings are suspended due to an assertion by the juvenile, the State or the court that the juvenile may not be competent to proceed in the Juvenile Court. Juvenile case records and Juvenile Court proceedings remain confidential unless the Juvenile Court proceedings resume after the juvenile is found competent.