2007 ORS 419A.255¹
Maintenance
  • disclosure
  • providing transcript
  • exceptions to confidentiality

(1) The clerk of the court shall keep a record of each case, including therein the summons and other process, the petition and all other papers in the nature of pleadings, motions, orders of the court and other papers filed with the court, but excluding reports and other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis. The record of the case shall be withheld from public inspection but is open to inspection by the child, ward, youth, youth offender, parent, guardian, court appointed special advocate, surrogate or a person allowed to intervene in a proceeding involving the child, ward, youth or youth offender, and their attorneys. The attorneys are entitled to copies of the record of the case.

(2) Reports and other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis are privileged and, except at the request of the child, ward, youth or youth offender, may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the judge of the juvenile court, those acting under the judge’s direction, service providers in the case and the attorneys of record for the child, ward, youth or youth offender or the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s parent, guardian, court appointed special advocate, surrogate or person allowed to intervene in a proceeding involving the child, ward, youth or youth offender. Reports and other material relating to a youth offender’s history and prognosis in cases under ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction) may be disclosed to the superintendent of the school district in which the youth offender resides. The service providers in the case, school superintendents and attorneys are entitled to examine and obtain copies of any reports or other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis. Any service provider in the case, school superintendent or attorney who examines or obtains copies of such reports or materials is responsible for preserving their confidentiality. A service provider or school superintendent who obtains copies of such reports or materials shall return the copies to the court upon the conclusion of the service provider’s or superintendent’s involvement in the case.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7) of this section, no information appearing in the record of the case or in reports or other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history or prognosis may be disclosed to any person not described in subsection (2) of this section without the consent of the court, except for purposes of evaluating the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s eligibility for special education as provided in ORS chapter 343, and no such information may be used in evidence in any proceeding to establish criminal or civil liability against the child, ward, youth or youth offender, whether such proceeding occurs after the child, ward, youth or youth offender has reached 18 years of age or otherwise, except for the following purposes:

(a) In connection with a presentence investigation after guilt has been admitted or established in a criminal court.

(b) In connection with a proceeding in another juvenile court concerning the child, ward, youth or youth offender or an appeal from the juvenile court.

(4) If the court finds that the child, ward, youth, youth offender or parent is without financial means to purchase all or a necessary part of the transcript of the evidence or proceedings, the court shall order upon motion the transcript or part thereof to be furnished. The transcript or part thereof furnished under this subsection shall be paid for in the same manner as furnished transcripts are paid for in criminal cases.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following are not confidential and not exempt from disclosure:

(a) The name and date of birth of the youth or youth offender;

(b) The basis for the juvenile court’s jurisdiction over the youth or youth offender;

(c) The date, time and place of any juvenile court proceeding in which the youth or youth offender is involved;

(d) The act alleged in the petition that if committed by an adult would constitute a crime if jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction);

(e) That portion of the juvenile court order providing for the legal disposition of the youth or youth offender when jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction);

(f) The names and addresses of the youth or youth offender’s parents or guardians; and

(g) The register described in ORS 7.020 (Register) when jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction).

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a youth has been taken into custody under ORS 419C.080 (Custody), the following information shall be disclosed unless, and only for so long as, there is a clear need to delay disclosure in the course of a specific investigation, including the need to protect the complaining party or the victim:

(a) The youth’s name and age and whether the youth is employed or in school;

(b) The youth offense for which the youth was taken into custody;

(c) The name and age of the adult complaining party and the adult victim, unless the disclosure of such information is otherwise prohibited or restricted;

(d) The identity of the investigating and arresting agency; and

(e) The time and place that the youth was taken into custody and whether there was resistance, pursuit or a weapon used in taking the youth into custody.

(7)(a) Information contained in reports and other materials relating to a child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis that, in the professional judgment of the juvenile counselor, caseworker, school superintendent, teacher or detention worker to whom the information for the reports or other materials has been provided, indicates a clear and immediate danger to another person or to society shall be disclosed to the appropriate authority and the person or entity who is in danger from the child, ward, youth or youth offender.

(b) An agency or a person who discloses information under paragraph (a) of this subsection has immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed for making the disclosure.

(c) Nothing in this subsection affects the provisions of ORS 146.750 (Injuries to be reported to medical examiner), 146.760 (Immunity of participant in making of report), 419B.035 (Confidentiality of records), 419B.040 (Certain privileges not grounds for excluding evidence in court proceedings on child abuse) and 419B.045 (Investigation conducted on public school premises). The disclosure of information under this section does not make the information admissible in any court or administrative proceeding if it is not otherwise admissible.

(8) A county juvenile department is the agency responsible for disclosing youth and youth offender records if the records are subject to disclosure.

(9) A petition filed under ORS 419B.851 (Service of process) alleging that a child who is a foreign national is within the jurisdiction of the court, or a motion requesting an implementation plan other than return of a ward to the ward’s parent, is subject to disclosure to the consulate for the child or ward’s country as provided under ORS 419B.851 (Service of process) (3).

(10) Nothing in this section prohibits a guardian appointed under ORS 419B.365 (Permanent guardianship) or 419B.366 (Guardianship) from disclosing or providing copies of letters of guardianship when so required to fulfill the duties of a guardian.

(11) The court shall cooperate in the sharing of information with a court in another state to facilitate an interstate placement of a child or ward. [1993 c.33 §49; 1993 c.234 §3; 1993 c.546 §8; 1995 c.422 §68; 1997 c.724 §§3,4; 1999 c.59 §118; 1999 c.620 §8; 2001 c.904 §11; 2001 c.910 §1; 2003 c.143 §4; 2003 c.229 §9; 2003 c.396 §34a; 2007 c.611 §4]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

In view of the confidential nature of the juvenile casework file, the trial court should have gone through the file and made available pertinent parts of it for de­fense (opposing) counsel to use in cross-examina­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. La Mar, 7 Or App 132, 490 P2d 191 (1971)

A juvenile witness may not be impeached by evidence that he admitted acts which would be a crime if committed by an adult. State v. Burr, 18 Or App 494, 525 P2d 1067 (1974)

Files relating to parent's treat­ment of other children are not absolutely inadmissible in pro­ceed­ing terminating parental rights. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Kramer, 34 Or App 1013, 580 P2d 211 (1978)

Defendant charged with arson was denied right of confronta­tion where trial court prevented de­fense from ques­tioning alleged accomplices about burglaries which they had admitted in prior juvenile pro­ceed­ings, because defendant's need to cross-examine principal witnesses to show possible bias outweighed state's need to maintain confidentiality of juvenile records. Burr v. Sullivan, 618 F2d 583 (1980)

In General

Juvenile court may order agency to provide adoptive home studies to attorney of dependent child prior to agency issuance of place­ment report. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Williams, 168 Or App 538, 7 P3d 655 (2000)

Where suitable adoptive place­ment is sought for child, court has discre­tion to order disclosure to court appointed special advocate of home study in­for­ma­­tion submitted to adop­tion committee for considera­tion. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Mitchell, 182 Or App 402, 49 P3d 838 (2002), Sup Ct review denied

Where child is no longer candidate for adop­tion, court may not order disclosure of adop­tion home studies to child's attorney or court appointed special advocate. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Morgan, 183 Or App 140, 51 P3d 637 (2002)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute

Access to police reports and records on juveniles by Oregon Law Enforce­ment Council, (1974) Vol 36, p 782; constitu­tionality of pro­vi­sions that juvenile court pro­ceed­ings and records may be closed to public, (1977) Vol 38, p 1504; release by police of­fi­cer of juvenile's name at time of arrest, (1981) Vol 42, p 17

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 419A—Juvenile Code: General Provisions and Definitions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­419a.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 419A, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­419aano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.