senate Bill S801

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides a mental hygiene legal service to certain patients or residents of residential healthcare facilities

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Apr 29, 2014 reported and committed to finance
Jan 08, 2014 referred to mental health and developmental disabilities
May 22, 2013 reported and committed to finance
Jan 09, 2013 referred to mental health and developmental disabilities

Votes

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Apr 29, 2014 - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee Vote

S801
10
0
committee
10
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee vote details

Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Vote: Apr 29, 2014

aye wr (1)

May 22, 2013 - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee Vote

S801
10
0
committee
10
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee vote details

Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Vote: May 22, 2013

aye wr (1)

Co-Sponsors

S801 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A190
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §47.01, Ment Hyg L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A126A, S3423A
2009-2010: A10824B, S7432

S801 - Bill Texts

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Provides a mental hygiene legal service to patients or residents of residential healthcare facilities who have been admitted directly from a facility and who have a chronic mental illness and are receiving services related to such illness.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S801

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to providing a mental
hygiene legal service to certain patients or residents of residential
healthcare facilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill provides mental hygiene legal services with authority to
provide legal assistance to patients or residents of residential
health care facilities including nursing homes who have been admitted
directly from a psychiatric facility or a psychiatric ward of a
hospital and who have a serious mental illness for which they are
receiving services related to such illness.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 of the bill amends section 47.01 subdivision (a) of the
mental hygiene law to include patients and residents of residential
healthcare facilities including nursing homes who have been directly
admitted from a facility licensed by the Office of Mental Health and
who have a serious mental illness and are receiving services for such
illness.

Section 2 of the bill provides for an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The NYS Court of Appeals, the State's highest court, recently
ruled that Mental Hygiene Legal Services (MHLS) lacks jurisdiction to
represent mentally ill individuals who have been admitted to nursing
homes from psychiatric centers and psychiatric hospital wards
because the Office of Mental Health does not license the facilities.
The legislature amended the law in 1993 to significantly expand
MHLS's jurisdiction to include individuals in a range of other in and
out-patient facilities without regard to the type of facility or a
person's lack of legal admission status in order to avoid the need
for MHLS to do battle to establish a jurisdictional foothold.
Unfortunately, by a vote of 4-3, the Court of Appeals decided that
those amendments are not sufficient to afford seriously mentally ill
individuals access of protective MHLS when in a setting not licensed
by OMH.

In the mid 1990's a practice of transferring individuals from
psychiatric centers and psychiatric wards of hospitals to specialized
units in nursing homes called neurobiological units (NEU's) where
they continued to receive intensive psychiatric treatment was begun.
These individuals were not there for traditional nursing home care.
A series of award
winning articles in the New York Times focused in part on this
practice and claimed that the residents in the NBD were being
deprived their legal protection. The article claimed that the NED's
were like being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric center
without any legal protections. MHLS began looking into the matter and
sought access to the residents and their records in order to provide
advocacy and legal representation. Nursing homes denied them access
and in June 2003, MHLS commenced a court action seeking jurisdiction


to protect the rights of these individuals. Nursing homes have since
shut down NED's, however there continues to be a steady flow of
seriously mentally ill individuals being transferred from OMH
licensed psychiatric centers and hospital wards to nursing homes.
Seriously mentally ill individuals deserve the same protections that
they would be afforded had they remained in the OMH licensed
facilities. They are not being discharged because they have been
cured or stabilized. If these individuals continue to require
intensive, institutional care and treatment that a nursing home
provides, they must continue to be provided with the protections that
MHLS was designed to provide. Many of these individuals have been
in nursing homes for years without legal representation waiting
this court decision. This bill will clearly put in statute MHLS'
authority to provide legal assistance to these seriously mentally ill
individuals who are alleged to be in need of care and treatment in
such restrictive settings.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.3423A/A.126A - Passed Assembly; Reported to Finance
2010: A.10824-B/S.7432-A - Vetoed Memo 6811

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
No new costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                   801

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- 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  providing  a
  mental hygiene legal service to certain patients or residents of resi-
  dential healthcare facilities

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

  Section 1. Subdivision (a) of section 47.01 of the mental hygiene law,
as amended by chapter 7 of the laws of  2007,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  (a) There shall be a mental hygiene legal service of the state in each
judicial  department.  The  service  shall  provide  legal assistance to
patients or residents of a facility as defined in section 1.03  of  this
chapter,    PATIENTS  OR  RESIDENTS OF RESIDENTIAL HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
LICENSED AND OPERATING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWENTY-EIGHT  OF  THE  PUBLIC
HEALTH LAW WHO HAVE BEEN ADMITTED DIRECTLY FROM A FACILITY AS DEFINED IN
SECTION  1.03  OF  THIS CHAPTER AND WHO HAVE A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS AS
DEFINED IN SECTION 1.03 OF  THIS  CHAPTER  AND  ARE  RECEIVING  SERVICES
RELATED  TO  SUCH  ILLNESS,  or  any  other  place  or facility which is
required to have an operating certificate pursuant to article sixteen or
thirty-one of this chapter, and to persons alleged to be in need of care
and treatment in such facilities or places, and to persons  entitled  to
such  legal  assistance  as provided by article ten of this chapter. The
head of such service in each judicial department and such assistants and
such staff as may be necessary shall be appointed and may be removed  by
the  presiding justice of the appellate division of the judicial depart-
ment.  Appointments and transfers to the service shall comply  with  the
provisions of the civil service law. Standards for qualifications of the
personnel  in  the service shall be established by the presiding justice

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02945-01-3

S. 801                              2

of the appellate division of  the  judicial  department.  The  presiding
justice  of  the  appellate  division  of  the judicial department shall
promulgate such rules or regulations as may be necessary  to  effectuate
the purposes of this article.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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