Filing a Motion to Seal Juvenile Criminal Record
These instructions and forms are a product of the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Implementation Committee on Pro Se Litigation and are provided as a public service to people who wish to handle their own court case(s).
THE SUPREME COURT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THESE INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS WILL BE APPROPRIATE IN EVERY CASE. ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING THE USE OF THE INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO A LAWYER.
Although these instructions and forms were developed to assist people who are handling their own cases, the Supreme Court’s Implementation Committee on Pro Se Litigation urges anyone thinking of handling their own case to consider getting a lawyer to help with their case.
Many courts have specific local rules that may apply in your case. Check with the Clerk of the Court in your county. If you fail to follow the local rules, it may affect your ability to obtain the desired outcome from your court case.
If the offense occurred after July 15, 2010, the record sealing processwill be automatically initiated (that is, the court records will not be available to the general public) when the juvenile turns 17 years of age so long as the juvenile has successfully met the conditions set out by the Court.
Prosecutor’s notification to juveniles: Having a Juvenile Record Sealed
These forms may be used by a parent/guardian or by the person wanting to seal a record if the record is not sealed through the Court’s automatic process. Records will not be automatically sealed if:
- The offense occurred prior to July 15, 2010 (the date when the new law went into effect)
- The court elected not to automatically seal the record
- You are under the age of 17
(Please note: the sealing process automatically begins at the age of 17. If you want the record sealed before you reach 17, you must make a request of the Court)
If a person is 18 years of age or younger at the time he/she commits certain crimes, the record of that county court conviction or juvenile court adjudication can be sealed. If your record is sealed, you can answer any public inquiry (like an interview or application for a job, school or housing) as if the case never existed.
However, sealed records can still be seen by:
- Law enforcement officers, county attorneys, and city attorneys investigating and prosecuting new offenses.
- An attorney representing the person with a sealed record for another offense.
- A judge to consider during sentencing for a later offense.
- Anyone who shows the judge good reason that he/she should see the record.
- County and city attorney(s) and judges in order to collect parental support or other legal obligation (under §43-290).
- Probation, Corrections, Office of Juvenile Services, Juvenile Assessment Center, or Detention facilities when a person is committed to their care.
- Department of Health and Human Services for intake, reports and evaluations, and supervision of the person or for licensing.
- The person with the sealed record or anyone authorized by that person to view the record.
- A person involved in a law suit based upon a case that has a sealed record.
- Persons doing research so long as that research protects the confidentiality of the sealed record.
- Law enforcement, if the person whose record is sealed applies for employment with a law enforcement agency.
Adult convictions cannot be sealed but may be pardoned or a set-aside. See: SETTING ASIDE A CRIMINAL CONVICTION
What a Judge Must Consider When Sealing a Record
According to Nebraska law (Neb. Rev. Stat §43-2,108.04) the judge must consider whether or not the juvenile has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree and may consider all of the following:
- the age at the time of the offense;
- the nature of the offense and the role of the juvenile in the offense;
- the behavior of the juvenile after the disposition, adjudication, diversion, or sentence;
- the juvenile's response to diversion, mediation, probation, supervision, other treatment or rehabilitation program, or sentence;
- the education and employment history of the juvenile;
- any other circumstances that may relate to the rehabilitation of the juvenile.
Getting a Juvenile Record Sealed
You will need specific information regarding the record you wish to have sealed. You will need to have your case number and the name of the court.
If you do not have copies of your court record, you can get information regarding your criminal history by:
- Obtaining a copy of your criminal history through the Nebraska State Patrol. (A minimal fee is charged by the State Patrol but it is the most complete information available to you.)
- Doing a one-time court case search of Nebraska Court records. (Fee is charged, and the record may not be complete depending on the date of the court hearing.)
- Going to the courthouse(s) where you may have records and using the public access terminal to get information on your record. There will be a charge for copies provided to you by the court.
Forms and Filing
Click here for a complete list of forms and instructions.
Filing the forms
- Take or mail the original Motion and Order to the Clerk of Court where the original conviction/adjudication was filed.
- Keep one copy for yourself.
The Court will notify the prosecuting attorney and the Department of Health & Human Services (when the juvenile is currently in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services or if HHS is a party to the case to be sealed) of the request for a motion to seal.
Court Order to Seal Record
- If no objection is made to sealing the record within 30 days of filing the request, the court may order the case sealed without a hearing, and you will receive a copy of the Order to Seal.
- If an objection is filed, or if the court decides that a hearing is necessary, a hearing will be set within 60 days of the filing of the Motion to Seal. Notice of the hearing date and time will be sent to you from the court. If your motion to seal is scheduled for a hearing, click Preparing for Hearing for instructions.
It may take a few days after the hearing for computers to be updated and the record to be sealed in the court computer system.
In most counties a copy of the court’s order will be provided to you after the judge signs it – often by mail. Check with your court clerk to see how you will receive your copy of the order. Keep copies of your order for future use.
IF YOUR MOTION IS DENIED
If the judge does NOT grant your motion to seal your record, you may file another motion after one year.