Accessing the Juvenile Case File

For Current or Former Foster Youth

You do not need a court order if you are a current or former foster youth and want to access your own case file.  However, sometimes you will run into difficulty at the court clerk's office.  We suggest printing out a copy of Welfare and Institutions Code § 827(a)(1)(C) and California Rule of Court 5.552 and showing the clerk if s/he denies your request to see your case file.

If the clerk insists on seeing a court order before providing you access to your file, fill out and file the following (you will have to serve the parties by first class mail or personal service):

 

For De Facto Parents

Welfare and Institutions Code § 827(a)(1)(E) provides that case files in a juvenile dependency case can be inspected by "attorneys for the parties," meaning that if you are a de facto parent and represented by an attorney, your attorney can make a discovery motion (sometimes referred to an 827 Petition) directly to the juvenile court.  However, if you are a de facto parent who is not represented by counsel, you will likely have to utilize the above JV-569, 570, 571 and 572 forms.

 

For Adoptive Parents

If you are seeking information in the juvenile dependency case file of a child you adopted, you will have to use the JV-569, 570, 571 and 572 forms.

 

Monetary Fees and Confidentiality

There are fees associated and charged by the county clerk to redact and copy the juvenile case file.  Effective January 2020, if you are a foster child/youth aged 26 or under, there is no cost to be associated with obtaining copies of your juvenile case file.  You may have to print out a copy of Welfare and Institutions Code section 16001.9(a)(36) and bring it with you to show the court clerk.

 

If you still have trouble accessing the case file after following the above suggestions, please call Advokids, 415-924-0587

5643 Paradise Drive, Suite 12B, Corte Madera, CA 94925  •  415.924.0587

11833 Mississippi Ave. 1st floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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