senate Bill S3802

Signed by Governor

Relates to the release of mental hygiene records pertaining to allegations and investigations of abuse or mistreatment

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 15 / Feb / 2013
    • REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 06 / Mar / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.174
  • 07 / Mar / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 11 / Mar / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A4100
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.101
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 09 / Oct / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 21 / Oct / 2013
    • SIGNED CHAP.395

Summary

Relates to the release of mental hygiene records pertaining to allegations and investigations of abuse or mistreatment.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4100
Versions:
S3802
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง33.25, Ment Hyg L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S6620A, A9037A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3802

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to
the further dissemination of records pertaining to allegations and
investigations of abuse and mistreatment at a facility to certain
persons

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Amends Chapter 24 of the Laws of 2007
(Jonathan's Law) and clarifies the legislative intent of certain
provisions.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision (b) of section 33.25 of
the mental hygiene law, as added by chapter 24 of the laws of 2007, is
amended to strike certain language regarding the further dissemination
of records by the recipient.

JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 24 of the Laws of 2007 (Jonathan's Law)
mandated the timely notification and the release of reports and
records to qualified family members with regard to incidents of abuse
of an individual under the care of these facilities.

The law contained language that prohibits the "further dissemination"
of records obtained by parents or guardians with regard to abuse of
individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in facilities
licensed by the New York State Office for People with Developmental
Disabilities (OPWDD).

Since Jonathan's Law was enacted, the language prohibiting the further
dissemination of these records has often been interpreted
inconsistently, and is at odds with the legislative intent of the
original chapter. For example, when family members request and receive
reports of abuse of their loved ones, the documents are provided with
a letter from the agency stating the information is "highly
confidential" and the reports themselves are stamped in large bold
letters "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISCLOSE". It remains unclear whether
these records can be shared, for instance, with an attorney
representing the family, or even law enforcement agencies, where a
crime has clearly been committed.

Given the recent series of New York Times articles exposing
allegations of widespread abuse and the unacceptable lack of criminal
reporting of these incidents by those charged under law to do so, it
is imperative that we allow the qualified recipients of these reports
of abuse to utilize them in a manner that will best protect the
individual and provide for swift justice of crimes against this
vulnerable population.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 A9037 Passed Assembly/S6620 Mental
Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediate


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3802

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop-
  mental Disabilities

AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene  law,  in  relation  to  the  further
  dissemination  of records pertaining to allegations and investigations
  of abuse and mistreatment at a facility to certain persons

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision (b) of section 33.25 of the mental hygiene law,
as  added  by  chapter  24  of  the laws of 2007, is amended and two new
subdivisions (c) and (d) are added to read as follows:
  (b) Records and reports released in accordance with this section shall
be released pursuant to subdivision (b) of section 33.23 of this article
and shall not be further disseminated by the recipient, PROVIDED THAT  A
RECIPIENT  MAY  SHARE  ANY  RECORDS  AND REPORTS WITH: (I) A HEALTH CARE
PROVIDER; (II) A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER; (III) LAW  ENFORCEMENT
IF THE RECIPIENT BELIEVES A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED; OR (IV) THE RECIP-
IENT'S ATTORNEY.
  (C)  A  COVER  LETTER  SHALL ACCOMPANY RECORDS AND REPORTS RELEASED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION AND SHALL STATE: PURSUANT TO SECTION  33.25
OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW, THE ATTACHED RECORDS AND REPORTS SHALL NOT BE
FURTHER  DISSEMINATED,  EXCEPT THAT YOU MAY SHARE THE REPORT WITH: (I) A
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER; (II) A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER; (III)  LAW
ENFORCEMENT,  IF  YOU  BELIEVE  A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED; OR (IV) YOUR
ATTORNEY.
  (D) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT THE RECEIPT, USE OR DISSEM-
INATION OF ANY SUCH RECORDS, REPORTS, INFORMATION OR RESULTS OF INVESTI-
GATIONS OR INQUIRY BY ANY PATIENT, FORMER PATIENT, OR  QUALIFIED  PERSON
OR PERSON OR OFFICIAL SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (I), (II), (III) OR (IV) OF
SUBDIVISION  (B) OF THIS SECTION ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY PATIENT, FORMER
PATIENT OR PATIENT'S ESTATE, IN ANY LEGAL ACTION OR  PROCEEDING  BROUGHT
BY OR ON BEHALF OF SUCH PATIENT, FORMER PATIENT OR PATIENT'S ESTATE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07444-01-3

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