In Nebraska, your juvenile court record may be seen by the public unless it is officially sealed under the circumstances described below. If your record is sealed, it is hidden from public view and you are not required to disclose its existence to anyone.
However, a number of agencies and individuals may have access to your sealed record, including:
- you or anyone you authorize to view your record
- law enforcement officers and county or city government attorneys investigating or prosecuting crimes
- your own lawyer, if he or she is representing you for another offense
- a judge, if sentencing you for a later offense
- anyone who can prove to a court that they have a good reason to view your record
- a judge or a county or city attorney who is attempting to collect parental support or a similar obligation
- juvenile probation, correction, or other juvenile service facilities, when you are committed to their care
- the Department of Health and Human Services for intake, reports, and certain other allowable purposes
- an individual who is involved in a lawsuit based upon your sealed case
- an individual conducting research, as long as the research protects the confidentiality of your record, and
- law enforcement agencies, if you apply for employment with the agency.
(Nebraska Statutes § 43-2, 108.05.)
Does Your Juvenile Record Qualify for Sealing?
If you are at least seventeen years old, your juvenile record will be automatically sealed in many cases. Even if you have not turned seventeen, your record may be automatically sealed in cases where the disposition was in your favor -- for example, if you were arrested but no petition or complaint was filed against you.
If your record has not been automatically sealed, however, you must file a motion in court, asking a judge to seal your record. When deciding whether to grant your request, the judge will consider whether you have satisfied all of the terms of your adjudication or sentence and whether you have been rehabilitated, as well as:
- your age
- the nature of the offense and your role in it
- your behavior after adjudication and your response to your diversion, mediation, probation, supervision, treatment, or other rehabilitation program
- your education and employment history, and
- any other information that the court feels is relevant to your rehabilitation.
If the court does not grant the request to seal your record, you can try again in one year.
(Nebraska Statutes §§ 43-2, 108.03-108.04.)
How to File
To seal your juvenile court record, you must file a “Motion to Seal Records” with the Juvenile Court or County Court that handled your case. You can find more information, including the papers you’ll need, by visiting the Nebraska Online Legal Self-Help Center.
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies sealing in Nebraska -- or for help completing the necessary paperwork -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.