How does SHB 2794 (2020) Juvenile Record Sealing affect the superior courts and juvenile departments? 

Effective 1/1/2021, RCW 13.50.260 is amended by SHB 2794 (2020) to include the following changes:

  • Eliminates the ability for the court to receive objections to sealing a juvenile offender case.  As a result, contested sealing hearings are no longer necessary.  

  • No administrative sealing hearing is required if a disposition is, at the time of commission, (1) a most serious offense under RCW 9.94A.030; (2) a sex offense under Ch. 9A.44 RCW; or (3) a drug offense (RCW 9.94A.030).  

  • The court shall seal the juvenileâs court record when the juvenile turns 18, or at the end of confinement or supervision, whichever should later occur.

  • Completing the terms and conditions of the disposition is no longer a requirement for sealing, except for payment in full of restitution owed to an individual victim.  The insurance provider exclusion related to sealing for payment of restitution has been expanded to include public or private entities providing insurance coverage or health care coverage.  

  • If a respondentâs case being considered for sealing continues to be on supervision, the court shall continue the administrative sealing hearing to a date within 30 days following the anticipated supervision end date. end of supervision. 

  • If the respondent is no longer on supervision, but still owes restitution to an individual victim, the court shall deny the sealing of the juvenile court record.  The resulting court order is to include the total amount of unpaid restitution to an individual victim and provide the respondent with direction on how to subsequently pursue record sealing.  

  • Juvenile department staff shall notify the respondent when the court enters an order denying the request to seal within five business days of entry.  A copy of the order may be provided in person or mailed to the respondentâs last known address in the DOL database, or the respondentâs address provided to the court, whichever is more recent.

  • Upon payment in full of the unpaid restitution set out in the order denying sealing, the respondent may contact the juvenile department and provide proof of payment and request an administrative sealing hearing.  Upon verification of full payment, the juvenile department shall provide the court with an order sealing file.  Once signed, the juvenile department will file the signed order with the county clerk who shall seal the respondentâs court record. 

  • County clerks may include restitution recipients in the list of people to interact or correspond with after a juvenile court record has been sealed. 

  • Provisions related to juvenile sealing hearings apply to juvenile sealing hearings held after the effective date of the bill, regardless of the date the hearing was scheduled or the juvenile record was filed. The AOC must ensure that sealed juvenile records remain private in the event of an appeal.

RN id: 2530