Juvenile Record Sealing

Juvenile Record Sealing

In Nebraska, records of law enforcement contact, criminal court involvement, and juvenile court involvement involving acts committed by a person under the age of eighteen should automatically be sealed from public view.

If the juvenile’s record is sealed, the events surrounding the matter are deemed to have never occurred and the youth may answer any public inquiry as if the case never existed.

All Nebraska juvenile records are available to the public unless they are sealed.

What does it mean to have your record sealed?

  • Your record is not available to the public;
  • All information about your sealed record must be kept private;
  • You do not need to tell anyone that you have a sealed record ;and
  • When applying for things like jobs, licenses, or scholarships, you may answer questions as if no record exists.

A sealed record can still be seen by:

  • You (if you file a request to release the records);
  • Someone you allow (if you file a request to release the records to them);
  • In limited circumstances:
    • Law enforcement agencies;
    • County and city attorney offices;
    •  judges;
    •  probation officers; and
    • DHHS.

Getting Started

information buttonInformation About Sealing Records

Eligibility to have a juvenile record sealed.

 Records Eligible to be Sealed Automatically:

  •  Your record should be automatically sealed if you were under the age of 18 when the incident took place and:
  1. No charges (including juvenile allegations) were filed against you;
  2. Charges were filed and later dismissed;
  3. You completed diversion, mediation, restorative justice, probation, supervision, or other treatment or rehabilitation program; or
  4. You were found responsible for an infraction (other than a traffic offense that did not require a court appearance), a misdemeanor, or a felony adjudicated in juvenile court, and you satisfactorily completed the probation or sentence ordered by the court (including payment of fines and restitution).

 If your juvenile record should have been sealed automatically but is still publicly available, you may notify the court or the county attorney, who shall cause the record to be sealed.  If your situation fits items 1 or 2 above, you will contact the county attorney; if it fits 3 or 4 above, you will contact the court.

Records Eligible to be Sealed by Request

  • If your record did not qualify to be sealed automatically, you or your parent or guardian can ask the court to seal the record once:
    • you have reached the age of majority or
    • after waiting six months after the case was closed. 
  •  In reviewing your request to seal the record, the court will consider whether you have been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree.  In making this decision, the court will consider:
  1.  Your behavior after the completion of the case;
  2. Your education and employment history; or
  3. Any other information that may prove you have been rehabilitated.
  •  If the court denies your request to seal the record because it found you have not been successfully rehabilitated, you can make the request again after waiting one year.  
What I Need to Know

checklistTo complete the forms and participate in the court hearing, I will  need:


  • My personal information:

    • My full name.
    • My email address.
    • My phone numbers.
    • My complete address, (house or apartment number, street name, city, state, and zip code).
  • Information about the case, including:

    • My case number.
    • The date of the offense.
    • Whether I was charged.
    • The offense I was charged with.
    • The outcome of the charge (dismissed, diversion, guilty, not guilty).
    • My sentence (probation, community service, fine, jail.)
    • Whether I completed my sentence (including paying all fines and court costs).

If you do not have the above information, you can obtain this information by:

  • Obtaining a copy of your criminal history through the Nebraska State Patrol. (There is a small charge to get your record.)
  • Doing a one-time court case search of Nebraska Court records. (There is a small charge to get your record, but it may not be a complete record.)
  • Going to the courthouse and using the public access terminal to get information on your record. There will be a charge for copies provided to you by the court.
How to File

Step by Step Instructions:

start here pin  First Step:

  1. If you case was in the Juvenile Court, Read the Instructions for and complete the Motion to Seal Records (Juvenile)(JC 15:1).
  2. If your case was in the County Court, Read the Instructions for and complete the Motion to Seal Records (County Court) (JC 15:3)

file  Filing your request to have your record sealed 

  1. File your Motion in the court where the juvenile case was heard.
    1. Local court rules may apply in your case.
      1. Check with the clerk’s office where your case is located regarding any local rules.
      2. If you do not follow the local rules, it may affect your request.
    2. If you do not have an attorney, you may file the Motion in person, by mail, or by fax.
  2. Keep one copy for yourself.
  3. The court will notify the county or city attorney of your motion to seal. 
    1. If you are in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or if DHHS is a party to the case requested to be sealed, they will be notified as well. 
    2. Notified parties may file a response, including an objection to your sealing request.
  4. If no objection is made within 30 days of filing the request, the court may order the case sealed without a hearing, and you will receive a copy of the Order to Seal. 
  5. If an objection is filed, or if the court decides that a hearing is necessary, a hearing will be set within 60 days of the filing of the Motion to Seal. 
    1. Notice of the hearing date and time will be sent to you from the court. 

If your motion to seal is scheduled for hearing, follow the instructions below.

calendar icon  Before Your Hearing

  1. Prepare what you are going to say in court.
    1. It’s okay to write out what you want to say ahead of time and read it when you go to court.
    2. Practice what you want to say so that you won’t be too nervous when you go to court.
  2. Be prepared to tell the judge why you are asking to have your record sealed.

gavel  On Your Court Day

  1. You must go to the hearing and testify (talk under oath) in open court about your court record. Once you have testified, the judge will decide if you will get your record sealed.
  2. Try to arrive at your hearing at least 15 minutes before your hearing is scheduled.
    1. Once you arrive at the courtroom for your hearing, you should ask the Clerk of the Court how to let the judge know that you are there for your hearing.
  3. When the judge calls your name, approach the bench.
    1. The “bench” is where the judge sits. The prosecutor may also be at the bench.
      1.  You usually can tell who a prosecutor is because that attorney will be at the bench for every case called by the judge. 
    2. In district court, you may be instructed to sit at the table during the hearing – just mirror what the prosecutor does.
    3. When you approach the bench, be respectful. Do not argue with the judge.
  4. You will be asked if you are ready to proceed.
    1. You must tell the court that you are ready and would like to testify.
    2. You will be asked to take the stand and the court will give you an oath to tell the truth.
    3. You are then ready to go forward with your case.
    4. You must testify to the following:

Introduce yourself. Example: My name is (your full name). I live at (your current street address) , in (city and state where currently living), and I am the person (or parent/guardian of the person) requesting to have my record sealed in this case.

  •  Explain why you want the Court to seal your record. You may wish to mention why the record is an ongoing problem.
    • For example, you may want to make a statement regarding the hardship caused by the existing record if you are unable to apply for college scholarships,
    • unable to gain entrance into an educational program, or
    • unable to find work because of your record.
  • Share some of the facts and circumstances present at the time of the offence, for example:
  • your age at the time of the offense;
  • the nature of the wrongdoing and your role in the offense;
  • issues you were dealing with during that time in your life;
  • people you were associated with at that time (and how you are no longer associating with those people)
  • Explain what you have done to make things better since the offense. Describe for the Court efforts you made. Here are some examples:
  • your behavior after the case (how you have conducted yourself since)
  • your response to diversion, mediation, probation, supervision, other treatment or rehabilitation program, or sentence
  • your education and employment history since the offense
  • any treatment you have received, or courses taken (like anger management classes, for example)
  • any other facts that help to establish your rehabilitation.

Conclude by saying, I have nothing further your Honor.

  1. This is not a hearing to prove your innocence at the original trial. It is just a hearing to seal your record. 

    1. You are not asking for a re-trial.
    2. This is not your chance to argue about the original conviction or charges.
    3. This is your chance to ask the court to “seal” a conviction because it is interfering with your ability to work, get housing, or go to school.
  2. At the end of your presentation, the judge may or may not have questions for you.
  3. The judge will ask the prosecutor for his/her position on the matter.
    1. If there is a hearing on the matter, it is mostly likely because the prosecutor has filed an objection.
      1. The prosecutor will use their time to explain to the court why they are objecting.  Do not interrupt the prosecutor and do not respond or react to anything they have to say, until you have permission from the judge.
      2. The judge will probably give you a chance to respond to the prosecutor’s stated objections.
      3. If the judge does not give you that chance, wait until the prosecutor has finished speaking and politely ask the judge if you can respond to what the prosecutor said.  Simply state “may I respond?”
      4. If the judge says “no,” the judge means “no.”
      5. If the judge says “yes,” politely explain why your request should be granted despite the prosecutor’s objections.
  4. Before you leave the hearing, make sure to obtain a copy of the order. This is important because your record will be sealed, meaning you cannot access a copy of the order unless you file a request to release sealed records.

It may take a few days after the hearing for the computers to be updated and the record to be sealed in the court computer system.

Other tips:

  • On the date your motion is scheduled for hearing, it is encouraged to arrive early. But no matter what, do not be late, or the court may deny your motion by default and move on to the next case.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • It is likely that your case will be set on a court “call” calendar at the same time and in the same courtroom as many other cases are being called. There may not be a particular order in which cases are called. You may spend an entire morning or afternoon in court waiting for your case to be called. Be prepared to wait.
Laws & Rules

To All Persons Representing Themselves :

  • You are responsible for all steps.
  • You are responsible for all information provided.
  • Court staff cannot give legal advice. If legal advice is needed: click Legal Self-Help Center.
  • Court staff cannot complete the forms for you or on your behalf.
  • Court staff cannot correct any of the information you include on the forms.
  • Write clearly. Check spelling. Forms that cannot be read or are incomplete may result in the court denying your request or additional court hearings and possibly added expense.            
  • Courts may have additional local rules. The court staff will guide you through those extra steps.  You will be required to complete them.