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Juvenile Court Records

How do I get a copy of my juvenile record?

It is easy to get a copy of your juvenile record. There is no fee to get a copy of your juvenile record.

  1. Download and print the PERSONAL MASSACHUSETTS JUVENILE COURT ACTIVITY RECORD  INFORMATION REQUEST FORM
  2.  Fill in the form and sign it.
  3. Address an envelope to yourself and put a stamp on it.
  4. Put your self-addressed/stamped envelope and the form you just signed into another envelope. Put a stamp on that envelope.
  5. Mail this to:
    Commissioner of Probation
    One Ashburton Place, Rm. 405
    Boston, MA 02150-1616
    Attn: JUVENILE RECORDS

You will get a copy of your juvenile record in 7 to 14 days.

Who can see my juvenile record?

Massachusetts Juvenile Court delinquency hearings and files at the courthouse are not open to the public.  Juvenile records are much more protected than adult criminal records.  Even when your juvenile records are not sealed,  you can answer “no record” as to any juvenile case that was not transferred to Superior Court for prosecution.  The Commissioner of Probation answers “no record” if employers or others ask about your juvenile records except for courts, police or others allowed under the law to get this information.  For example, children’s summer camp employers can get this information if your record is not sealed.

Youthful offender cases in the Juvenile court are different. Youthful offender files at the courthouse and hearings are open to the public.  So background checking companies can find out about and look at your case files at the courthouse if you do not seal your case.  If you apply for a job, the employer might find out about the case if it is not sealed.

A Juvenile Court case is only part of CORI if the case was transferred to Superior Court to prosecute you as an adult.

Get juvenile cases off your CORI!

If your Juvenile Court Youthful Offender case ended so that

  • you went to state prison or the House of Corrections, or 
  • you were on probation after age 21 for this case,

  this juvenile case will be listed on your CORI.

Youth offender cases have a “YO” in the docket number. Greater Boston Legal Services is trying to do something about this problem. 

What to do?

If you do not want these juvenile cases listed on your CORI, call
Greater Boston Legal Services
617-371-1234

When can I seal my juvenile records?

A Juvenile Court case can be sealed if your case is closed for at least 3 years, but only if:

  1. You have had no other delinquency cases, juvenile adjudications, or convictions (except motor vehicle offenses with a fine not more than $50) during the last 3 years in any court in or outside Massachusetts or from a Federal Court, and
  2. You have not been in jail or prison or juvenile custody in the last 3 years in or outside Massachusetts or from Federal Court.

Important

If you are not a citizen or are living here without legal documents, you should consult with an immigration attorney before sealing your records.  You may need certified copies of papers from your juvenile cases for immigration hearings and sealing your cases might stop you from getting these papers in time for your immigration hearings.

How do I seal my juvenile records in Massachusetts?

After the juvenile record is old enough, you can seal it by filling out the same Petition to Seal form used to seal adult convictions.  The difference is you check off box “1” for juvenile cases and sign the part of the form that goes with box “1.”    

Get the form online, or call the Office of the Commissioner of Probation at 617-727-5300 to ask for a copy of the form.  It is free.

Important

Get certified copies at the courthouse before mailing in the form. You may need copies of the records you are trying to seal in the future. You may need these documents if you apply for a “green card”, or other legal immigration status arrangements with the federal government.  Once your record is sealed, you cannot get a copy of it unless you go to court to “unseal” your records.  If you have lots of cases in various juvenile courthouses that could take up a lot of your time.

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated March 2017