Nebraska Revised Statute 43-2,108

Revised Statutes » Chapter 43 » 43-2,108
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43-2,108. Juvenile court; files; how kept; certain reports and records not open to inspection without order of court; exception.

(1) The juvenile court judge shall keep a minute book in which he or she shall enter minutes of all proceedings of the court in each case, including appearances, findings, orders, decrees, and judgments, and any evidence which he or she feels it is necessary and proper to record. Juvenile court legal records shall be deposited in files and shall include the petition, summons, notice, certificates or receipts of mailing, minutes of the court, findings, orders, decrees, judgments, and motions.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the medical, psychological, psychiatric, and social welfare reports and the records of juvenile probation officers as they relate to individual proceedings in the juvenile court shall not be open to inspection, without order of the court. Such records shall be made available to a district court of this state or the District Court of the United States on the order of a judge thereof for the confidential use of such judge or his or her probation officer as to matters pending before such court but shall not be made available to parties or their counsel; and such district court records shall be made available to a county court or separate juvenile court upon request of the county judge or separate juvenile judge for the confidential use of such judge and his or her probation officer as to matters pending before such court, but shall not be made available by such judge to the parties or their counsel.

(3) As used in this subsection, confidential record information shall mean all docket records, other than the pleadings, orders, decrees, and judgments; case files and records; reports and records of probation officers; and information supplied to the court of jurisdiction in such cases by any individual or any public or private institution, agency, facility, or clinic, which is compiled by, produced by, and in the possession of any court. In all cases under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247, access to all confidential record information in such cases shall be granted only as follows: (a) The court of jurisdiction may, subject to applicable federal and state regulations, disseminate such confidential record information to any individual, or public or private agency, institution, facility, or clinic which is providing services directly to the juvenile and such juvenile's parents or guardian and his or her immediate family who are the subject of such record information; (b) the court of jurisdiction may disseminate such confidential record information, with the consent of persons who are subjects of such information, or by order of such court after showing of good cause, to any law enforcement agency upon such agency's specific request for such agency's exclusive use in the investigation of any protective service case or investigation of allegations under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247, regarding the juvenile or such juvenile's immediate family, who are the subject of such investigation; and (c) the court of jurisdiction may disseminate such confidential record information to any court, which has jurisdiction of the juvenile who is the subject of such information upon such court's request.

(4) The court shall provide copies of predispositional reports and evaluations of the juvenile to the juvenile's attorney and the county attorney or city attorney prior to any hearing in which the report or evaluation will be relied upon.

(5) Nothing in subsection (3) of this section shall be construed to restrict the dissemination of confidential record information between any individual or public or private agency, institute, facility, or clinic, except any such confidential record information disseminated by the court of jurisdiction pursuant to this section shall be for the exclusive and private use of those to whom it was released and shall not be disseminated further without order of such court.

(6)(a) Any records concerning a juvenile court petition filed pursuant to subdivision (3)(c) of section 43-247 shall remain confidential except as may be provided otherwise by law. Such records shall be accessible to (i) the juvenile except as provided in subdivision (b) of this subsection, (ii) the juvenile's counsel, (iii) the juvenile's parent or guardian, and (iv) persons authorized by an order of a judge or court.

(b) Upon application by the county attorney or by the director of the facility where the juvenile is placed and upon a showing of good cause therefor, a judge of the juvenile court having jurisdiction over the juvenile or of the county where the facility is located may order that the records shall not be made available to the juvenile if, in the judgment of the court, the availability of such records to the juvenile will adversely affect the juvenile's mental state and the treatment thereof.



Statutory provisions do not overcome constitutional rights. Since Star Chamber proceedings were abolished long ago, it may be that a statute which undertakes to secrete from a party information provided to the tribunal which uses that same information in adjudicating that party's parental rights offends due process. In re Interest of J.H., 242 Neb. 906, 497 N.W.2d 346 (1993).

There is no due process of law violation in the juvenile court's refusal to allow inspection of two caseworkers' case files in a termination of parental rights case when counsel had an opportunity to depose the caseworkers at length and good cause was not shown. In re Interest of S.W., 220 Neb. 734, 371 N.W.2d 726 (1985).