Are juvenile court records automatically sealed when a minor becomes an adult?

Normally, a person who meets a state’s eligibility requirements for the sealing of juvenile court records has to file a petition with the court to actually get them sealed. The person with the record often has to file such a petition (accompanied by payment of a fee) with the juvenile court clerk in the county where the case took place.

Typically, the petition formally asks the court to issue a written order sealing the record. However, some states do have limited automatic sealing provisions. (See, for example, Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 826(a), discussing in part automatic record destruction.)

For more information, see Sealing Juvenile Court Records. To get even more information, including state-specific articles, see Expunging or Sealing a Juvenile Court Record.

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