Nebraska Revised Statute 43-2,108.05

Chapter 43 Section 2,108.05

43-2,108.05.

Sealing of record; court; duties; effect; inspection of records; prohibited acts; violation; contempt of court.

(1) If the court orders the record of a juvenile sealed pursuant to section 43-2,108.04, the court shall:

(a) Order that all records, including any information or other data concerning any proceedings relating to the offense, including the arrest, taking into custody, petition, complaint, indictment, information, trial, hearing, adjudication, correctional supervision, dismissal, or other disposition or sentence, be deemed never to have occurred;

(b) Send notice of the order to seal the record (i) to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, (ii) if the record includes impoundment or prohibition to obtain a license or permit pursuant to section 43-287, to the Department of Motor Vehicles, (iii) if the juvenile whose record has been ordered sealed was a ward of the state at the time the proceeding was initiated or if the Department of Health and Human Services was a party in the proceeding, to such department, and (iv) to law enforcement agencies, county attorneys, and city attorneys referenced in the court record;

(c) Order all notified under subdivision (1)(b) of this section to seal all records pertaining to the offense;

(d) If the case was transferred from district court to juvenile court or was transferred under section 43-282, send notice of the order to seal the record to the transferring court; and

(e) Explain to the juvenile what sealing the record means verbally if the juvenile is present in the court at the time the court issues the sealing order or by written notice sent by regular mail to the juvenile's last-known address if the juvenile is not present in the court at the time the court issues the sealing order.

(2) The effect of having a record sealed under section 43-2,108.04 is that thereafter no person is allowed to release any information concerning such record, except as provided by this section. After a record is sealed, the person whose record was sealed can respond to any public inquiry as if the offense resulting in such record never occurred. A government agency and any other public office or agency shall reply to any public inquiry that no information exists regarding a sealed record. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, an order to seal the record applies to every government agency and any other public office or agency that has a record relating to the offense, regardless of whether it receives notice of the hearing on the sealing of the record or a copy of the order. Upon the written request of a person whose record has been sealed and the presentation of a copy of such order, a government agency or any other public office or agency shall seal all records pertaining to the offense.

(3) A sealed record is accessible to law enforcement officers, county attorneys, and city attorneys in the investigation, prosecution, and sentencing of crimes, to the sentencing judge in the sentencing of criminal defendants, to a judge making a determination whether to transfer a case to or from juvenile court, to any attorney representing the subject of the sealed record, and to the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare pursuant to an investigation conducted under the Office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare Act. Inspection of records that have been ordered sealed under section 43-2,108.04 may be made by the following persons or for the following purposes:

(a) By the court or by any person allowed to inspect such records by an order of the court for good cause shown;

(b) By the court, city attorney, or county attorney for purposes of collection of any remaining parental support or obligation balances under section 43-290;

(c) By the Nebraska Probation System for purposes of juvenile intake services, for presentence and other probation investigations, and for the direct supervision of persons placed on probation and by the Department of Correctional Services, the Office of Juvenile Services, a juvenile assessment center, a criminal detention facility, a juvenile detention facility, or a staff secure juvenile facility, for an individual committed to it, placed with it, or under its care;

(d) By the Department of Health and Human Services for purposes of juvenile intake services, the preparation of case plans and reports, the preparation of evaluations, compliance with federal reporting requirements, or the supervision and protection of persons placed with the department or for licensing or certification purposes under sections 71-1901 to 71-1906.01, the Child Care Licensing Act, or the Children's Residential Facilities and Placing Licensure Act;

(e) Upon application, by the person who is the subject of the sealed record and by persons authorized by the person who is the subject of the sealed record who are named in that application;

(f) At the request of a party in a civil action that is based on a case that has a sealed record, as needed for the civil action. The party also may copy the sealed record as needed for the civil action. The sealed record shall be used solely in the civil action and is otherwise confidential and subject to this section;

(g) By persons engaged in bona fide research, with the permission of the court, only if the research results in no disclosure of the person's identity and protects the confidentiality of the sealed record; or

(h) By a law enforcement agency if a person whose record has been sealed applies for employment with the law enforcement agency.

(4) Nothing in this section prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from releasing information from sealed records in the performance of its duties with respect to the supervision and protection of persons served by the department.

(5) In any application for employment, bonding, license, education, or other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other public inquiry, a person cannot be questioned with respect to any offense for which the record is sealed. If an inquiry is made in violation of this subsection, the person may respond as if the offense never occurred. Applications for employment shall contain specific language that states that the applicant is not obligated to disclose a sealed record. Employers shall not ask if an applicant has had a record sealed. The Department of Labor shall develop a link on the department's web site to inform employers that employers cannot ask if an applicant had a record sealed and that an application for employment shall contain specific language that states that the applicant is not obligated to disclose a sealed record.

(6) Any person who violates this section may be held in contempt of court.

Cross References

  • Child Care Licensing Act, see section 71-1908.
  • Children's Residential Facilities and Placing Licensure Act, see section 71-1924.
  • Office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare Act, see section 43-4301.