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Is it normal to take over a year to seal a juvenile record?

Los Angeles, CA |

I hired an attorney to help seal my records last year in 2012 and I gave him a call a few days ago to see if there's any progress. He said that my petition is still being processed and the delay may be due to the budget cuts in the juvenile court system. I also called the court to confirm whether or not he filed my petition. The clerk told me that he did file a petition for me so I am not worried about being scammed by him. However, I am just wondering if it's normal to take over a year to seal a juvenile record. I've read that process generally takes anywhere from 6-8 months. From what other attorneys told me, there shouldn't be a problem for the judge granting my petition. I am just a bit worried about this situation. If anyone can give me some feedback, that would be great. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


That is indeed a long time. However, since you confirmed that the petition has been filed, it probably is due to the court's delay. Did you find out when the petition was filed. If there was no delay in filing he petition, then it is mostly out of your hands. Your counsel probably also "tickled" the division clerk to find out what is holding up the process.

The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to suggerst some general principles and should not be relied upon for client decisions. Only upon the hiring of counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific situation and needs.



Thank you for answering my question. According to my attorney, he said he filed my petition last year in March and I have an email stating that he did as well. So as of right now, my best bet would be to just wait?

Richard Franklin Taub

Richard Franklin Taub


Generally, I don't recommend second-guessing your counsel because he or she is your sword and shield. However, if it will make you feel better, you can contact the clerk again and confirm the date it was filed. If correct, also verify with her what is needed to move on it. Your counsel could also file a notice of motion to get a hearing on the petition to press for its resolution. I defer to your counsel on that one, though.


It's a bureaucracy with little oversight so it does take awhile. Be nice to the clerk when you call since you want to remain on their good side. I wish you the best.
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The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


The court system has lost about $200,000 a year for the last 5 years. They have closed several courts and laid off a lot of clerks. Those that remain, are forced to do 4 times the work that they use to do. This sounds like you are in that type of situation and the fact that your lawyer has filed, he is helpless at this point too. It should go through once it gets to the limited resources of the court, so be sure to stay out of trouble or it could be denied. Good luck.

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