State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-2901

§ 7B‑2901. Confidentiality of records.

(a)        The clerk shallmaintain a complete record of all juvenile cases filed in the clerk's officealleging abuse, neglect, or dependency. The records shall be withheld frompublic inspection and, except as provided in this subsection, may be examinedonly by order of the court. The record shall include the summons, petition,custody order, court order, written motions, the electronic or mechanicalrecording of the hearing, and other papers filed in the proceeding. The recordingof the hearing shall be reduced to a written transcript only when notice ofappeal has been timely given. After the time for appeal has expired with noappeal having been filed, the recording of the hearing may be erased ordestroyed upon the written order of the court.

The following persons mayexamine the juvenile's record maintained pursuant to this subsection and obtaincopies of written parts of the record without an order of the court:

(1)        The person named inthe petition as the juvenile;

(2)        The guardian adlitem;

(3)        The countydepartment of social services; and

(4)        The juvenile'sparent, guardian, or custodian, or the attorney for the juvenile or thejuvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian.

(b)        The Director of theDepartment of Social Services shall maintain a record of the cases of juvenilesunder protective custody by the Department or under placement by the court,which shall include family background information; reports of social, medical,psychiatric, or psychological information concerning a juvenile or thejuvenile's family; interviews with the juvenile's family; or other informationwhich the court finds should be protected from public inspection in the bestinterests of the juvenile. The records maintained pursuant to this subsectionmay be examined only in the following circumstances:

(1)        The juvenile'sguardian ad litem or the juvenile, including a juvenile who has reached age 18or been emancipated, may examine the records.

(2)        A district orsuperior court judge of this State presiding over a civil matter in which thedepartment is not a party may order the department to release confidentialinformation, after providing the department with reasonable notice and anopportunity to be heard and then determining that the information is relevantand necessary to the trial of the matter before the court and unavailable fromany other source. This subsection shall not be construed to relieve any courtof its duty to conduct hearings and make findings required under relevantfederal law before ordering the release of any private medical or mental healthinformation or records related to substance abuse or HIV status or treatment.The department may surrender the requested records to the court, for in camerareview, if surrender is necessary to make the required determinations.

(3)        A district orsuperior court judge of this State presiding over a criminal or delinquencymatter shall conduct an in camera review before releasing to the defendant orjuvenile any confidential records maintained by the department of socialservices, except those records the defendant or juvenile is entitled topursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(4)        The department maydisclose confidential information to a parent, guardian, custodian, orcaretaker in accordance with G.S. 7B‑700.

(c)        In the case of achild victim, the court may order the sharing of information among such publicagencies as the court deems necessary to reduce the trauma to the victim.

(d)        The court's entirerecord of a proceeding involving consent for an abortion on an unemancipatedminor under Article 1A, Part 2 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes is not amatter of public record, shall be maintained separately from any juvenilerecord, shall be withheld from public inspection, and may be examined only byorder of the court, by the unemancipated minor, or by the unemancipated minor'sattorney or guardian ad litem.  (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1987, c. 297; 1994, Ex. Sess.,c. 7, s. 1; 1995, c. 462, s. 4; c. 509, s. 5; 1997‑459, s. 2; 1998‑202,s. 6; 2001‑208, s. 10; 2001‑487, s. 101; 2009‑311, s. 18.)