Juvenile Court Records in Minnesota

Records of juvenile court delinquency actions are accessible to the minor “Respondent” and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s). Juvenile delinquency records from “traditional juvenile court” may be seen by others outside the judicial and law enforcement systems in most cases only with a court order, except in the following situations:

  • The “victim” of any alleged delinquent act may obtain the name and age of the juvenile, the act for which the juvenile was petitioned, the date of the offense, and the disposition of the case. Minn. Stat. §260B.171, subd. 4
  • A county attorney may give a law enforcement agency that referred a delinquency matter to the county attorney a summary of the results of that referral, including the details of any juvenile court disposition. Minn. Stat. §260B.171, subd. 4
  • Court disposition orders in certain cases can be shared with schools. Minn. Stat.§260B.171, subd. 3
  • Records of adjudications, court transcripts, and delinquency petitions must be released to law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities, Minn. Stat. §260B.171, subd. 1, as well as “criminal justice agencies as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 3a, to all trial courts and appellate courts, to a person who has access to the juvenile court records as provided in sections 260B.171 and 260C.171 or under court rule, to public defenders as provided in section 611.272, and to criminal justice agencies in other states in the conduct of their official duties.” Minn. Stat. § 299C.095, subd. 1(a).
  • The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) can “disseminate a juvenile adjudication history record in connection with a background check required by statute or rule and performed on a licensee, license applicant, or employment applicant or performed under section 299C.62 or 624.713. If the background check is performed under section 299C.62, juvenile adjudication history disseminated under this paragraph is limited to offenses that would constitute a background check crime as defined in section 299C.61, subdivision 2. A consent for release of information from an individual who is the subject of a juvenile adjudication history is not effective and the bureau shall not release a juvenile adjudication history record and shall not release information in a manner that reveals the existence of the record. Data maintained under section 243.166, released in conjunction with a background check, regardless of the age of the offender at the time of the offense, does not constitute releasing information in a manner that reveals the existence of a juvenile adjudication history. ” Minn. Stat. § 299C.095, subd. 1(b).
  • Certain Minnesota statutes require or permit access to a juvenile adjudication history as a condition to the employment in specified occupations (for example, some requiring licensing by the Minnesota Department of Human Services) or other non-criminal justice system uses.  In those situations, the BCA has authority to release juvenile records relating to those qualifying adjudications.  Minn. Stat. § 299C.095, subd. 1(b).
  • The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is provided data in juvenile petitions (even where no adjudication has resulted) involving felony or gross misdemeanor-level claimed offenses. Minn. Stat. §260B.171, subd. 2.

Delinquency proceedings conducted by the juvenile court are closed to the public, except:

  1. hearings and court records involving minors 16 years or older are open to the public if the minor is accused of a felony-level offense; and,
  2. a “victim” of a child’s delinquent act may attend any related delinquency proceeding, subject to the court’s authority to exclude the victim for specified reasons. Minn. Stat. § 260B.163, subds. 1, 3

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension retains juvenile history data on a child against whom a delinquency petition was filed and continued without adjudication, or a child who was found to have committed a felony or gross misdemeanor-level offense, until the child reaches age 28.  If, however, the offender commits a felony violation between the ages of 18 and 28, the bureau retains the juvenile data for as long as the data would have been retained if the offender had been an adult at the time of the juvenile offense. Minn. Stat. § 299C.095, subd. 2

Sex Offender Registration for Juveniles
Or, now broadened and labeled “predatory offender” registration.  Most of the important provisions can be found at Minnesota Statutes §243.166.  If charged with most sex crimes (listed) and convicted of any crime (no matter how trivial) arising out of the same set of circumstances, including a non-registration crime, then the person convicted is required to register under this statute.  If the person fails to do so, this is made a crime – see Minnesota Statutes §243.166, subd. 5.  The registration period is at least ten years, often much longer – see Minnesota Statutes §243.166, subd. 6.  Even juveniles are affected.  This is another way juvenile court records become public.