CA Welf & Inst Code Section 362.5


The clerk of the superior court shall open a separate court file for nonminor dependents under the dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction of the court.


Access to the nonminor dependent court file shall be limited to all of the following:


Court personnel.


The district attorney, if the nonminor dependent is also a delinquent ward.


The nonminor dependent.


The attorney for the nonminor dependent.


Judges, referees, and other hearing officers actively participating in juvenile proceedings involving the nonminor dependent.


The social services agency or probation department.


The State Department of Social Services, to carry out its duties pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 10000), and Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code, to oversee and monitor county child welfare agencies, children in foster care or receiving foster care assistance; and out-of-state placements, Section 10850.4, and pursuant to Section 2.


The county counsel.


Authorized legal staff or special investigators who are peace officers who are employed by, or who are authorized representatives of, the State Department of Social Services, as necessary for the performance of their duties to inspect, license, and investigate community care facilities, to ensure that the standards of care and services provided in those facilities are adequate and appropriate, and to ascertain compliance with the rules and regulations to which the facilities are subject. The confidential information shall remain confidential except for purposes of inspection, licensing, or investigation pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) and Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding in relation thereto. The confidential information may be used by the State Department of Social Services in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding. The confidential information shall be available only to the judge or hearing officer and to the parties to the case. Names that are confidential shall be listed in attachments separate from the general pleadings. The confidential information shall be sealed after the conclusion of the criminal, civil, or administrative hearings, and may not subsequently be released, except in accordance with this subdivision. If the confidential information does not result in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, it shall be sealed after the State Department of Social Services decides that no further action will be taken in the matter of suspected licensing violations. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, confidential information in the possession of the State Department of Social Services may not contain the name of the nonminor dependent.


The nonminor dependent’s parent and the parent’s attorney may only access the file if the parent is still receiving reunification services.


All other individuals requesting access to the court file must be designated by court order of the judge of the juvenile court upon filing a petition, which shall be determined pursuant to Section 827.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 362.5’s source at ca​.gov