H. B. 2500
(By Delegates Thompson, Ryan, J. Martin, Stalnaker,
Tillis, Amores and Pulliam)
[Introduced February 15, 1995; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article five,
chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
allowing disclosure of juvenile criminal records to local
law enforcement agencies and school administrators when a
child moves to a new school and commits a criminal offense.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article five, chapter forty-nine of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.
§49-5-17. Expungement of records; no discrimination.
(a) One year after the child's eighteenth birthday, or one
year after personal or juvenile jurisdiction shall have
terminated, whichever is later, the records of a juvenile
proceeding conducted under this chapter, including
law-enforcement files and records, fingerprints, physical
evidence and all other records pertaining to said proceeding
shall be expunged by operation of law. When records are
expunged, they shall be returned to the court in which the case
was pending and kept in a separate confidential file and not
opened except upon order of the court.
(b) Expungement shall be accomplished by physically marking
the records to show that such records have been expunged, and by
the secure sealing and filing of said records in such a manner
that no one can determine the identity of said juvenile except as
provided in subsection (d) of this section. Expungement shall
have the legal effect as if the offense never occurred.
(c) The child's counsel, parent, guardian or custodian, the
court, law-enforcement agencies and other public and private agencies, in response to a request for record information, shall
reply that juvenile records are not public records and are
available only by order of the circuit court in which the case
(d) Notwithstanding this or any other provision of this code
to the contrary, juvenile records and law-enforcement records
shall not be disclosed or made available for inspection, except
that the court may, by written order pursuant to a written
petition, permit disclosure or inspection when:
(1) A court having juvenile jurisdiction has the child
before it in a juvenile proceeding;
(2) A court exercising criminal jurisdiction over the child
requests such records for the purpose of a presentence report or
other dispositional proceeding;
(3) The child or counsel for the child requests disclosure
or inspection of such records;
(4) The officials of public institutions to which a child is
committed require such records for transfer, parole or discharge considerations;
or(5) A school to which a child has moved and the local law
enforcement agencies in the area to which a child has moved if
the child has committed and been convicted of a criminal offense
after the child has been admitted to the new school; or
(5) (6) A person doing research requests disclosure, on the
condition that information which would identify the child or
family involved in the proceeding shall not be divulged.
(e) No individual, firm, corporation or other entity shall,
on account of a person's prior involvement in a proceeding under
this article, discriminate against any person in access to, terms
of, or conditions of employment, housing, education, credit,
contractual rights or otherwise.
(f) No records of a juvenile convicted under the criminal
jurisdiction of the court pursuant to subdivision one, subsection
(d), section ten of this article shall be expunged.
(g) Any person who willfully violates this section shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in jail not
more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, and
shall be liable for damages in the amount of three hundred
dollars or actual damages, whichever is greater.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow disclosure of
juvenile criminal records to local law enforcement and a child's
school when the child moves to a new school and commits a
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.