I have to laugh whenever a discussion breaks out about "procedures" such as sealing the records of a DF'ing case . Yes, there are instructions from the Society. Yes, there are some anal-retentive elders who follow them to the letter.
But I have been through the locked files in the KH on "official" business and can tell you there is no consistent pattern to what you find there. The "rule" is that all the notes that are kept by JC members are collected by the chairman and placed in an envelope, along with a copy of the official form that goes to Brooklyn stating the name, date, reason for DF'ing, and other information. This envelope is to be sealed, and never opened except in a case where the DF'd person asks to be reinstated -- and then only if there are no members of the original JC available (like, they've died or moved).
The rationale is that when three "new" elders have to determine whether someone is repentant and can be reinstated, they have to know what the original circumstances were. This makes a certain amount of sense, since the WT parcels out "sentences" based on how heinous the "crime" was... if your sin was deemed minor, you could be reinstated in a matter of months; if major, it could be a year or more.
In actual fact, you should see the files! Some of the envelopes are sealed. Others just have the flap folded in. With some of those manila envelopes, the metal clasp is all that holds it shut. The instructions require some basic info be written on the outside of the envelope, such as a name, date, what action was taken, thus making it unnecessary to open the envelope to find that out; but often this info is missing, which explains why a number of the envelopes are not sealed. As for the contents, very often you find several pages of scrawled notes that are completely illegible. You'd be hard-pressed to be able to read whole sentences, although you could get the gist of the matter from the large words that are underlined!
As for the copies of the official forms, sometimes they're in the envelope, sometimes they're not. Let me let you in on a secret: At the congregation level, the WTS is hopelessly inept when it comes to record keeping. This is mainly because the files are organized and maintained by the Secretary, which is the least "glorious" job on the elder body and which no one wants! It's too damn much work and responsibilility, plus it requires some skill -- you have to be a seriously good filer and be able to write letters that look and sound intelligent and which actually convey information concisely and accurately. This in turn requires training that almost no dub elder possesses, thanks to the WTS' anti-education policy.
Now I know some elder or ex-elder will take issue with this and insist that their files were much tighter than that. And that may be true. My experience is based on nearly 30 years in four different congos, and this was pretty much the situation in all of them, although some were better than others. I don't doubt there is a congo somewhere in which all the rules are followed, all the files are sealed, and one guy has been Secretary (or PO) forever.
But generally, these guys just aren't that well organized.