Substitute House Bill No. 6535

Public Act No. 01-41

AN ACT CONCERNING INDEMNIFICATION OF COURT APPOINTED HEALTH CARE GUARDIANS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Subsection (k) of section 54-56d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(k) (1) When any placement order for treatment is rendered or continued, the court shall set a date for a hearing, to be held within ninety days, for reconsideration of the issue of the defendant's competency. Whenever the court receives a report pursuant to subsection (j) of this section which indicates that (A) the defendant has attained competency, (B) the defendant will not attain competency within the remainder of the period covered by the placement order, or (C) the defendant will not attain competency within the remainder of the period covered by the placement order absent administration of psychiatric medication for which the defendant is unwilling or unable to provide consent, the court shall set the matter for a hearing no later than ten days after the report is received. The hearing may be waived by the defendant only if the report indicates that [he] the defendant is competent. The court shall determine whether the defendant is competent or [whether he] is making progress toward attainment of competency within the period covered by the placement order. If the court finds that the defendant is competent, [he] the defendant shall be returned to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction or released, if [he] the defendant has met the conditions for release, and the court shall continue with the criminal proceedings. If the court finds that the defendant is still not competent but that [he] the defendant is making progress toward attaining competency, it may continue or modify the placement order. If the court finds that the defendant is still not competent and will not attain competency within the remainder of the period covered by the placement order absent administration of psychiatric medication for which [he] the defendant is unwilling or unable to provide consent, it shall proceed as provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2) If the court finds that the defendant will not attain competency within the remainder of the period covered by the placement order absent administration of psychiatric medication for which the defendant is unwilling or unable to provide consent, and after any hearing held pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, it may order the involuntary medication of the defendant if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that: (A) To a reasonable degree of medical certainty involuntary medication of the defendant will render [him] the defendant competent to stand trial, (B) an adjudication of guilt or innocence cannot be had using less intrusive means, (C) the proposed treatment plan is narrowly tailored to minimize intrusion on the defendant's liberty and privacy interests, (D) the proposed drug regime will not cause an unnecessary risk to the defendant's health, and (E) the seriousness of the alleged crime is such that the criminal law enforcement interest of the state in fairly and accurately determining the defendant's guilt or innocence overrides the defendant's interest in self-determination.

(3) If the court finds that the defendant is unable to provide consent for the administration of psychiatric medication, and prior to deciding whether to order the involuntary medication of the defendant under subdivision (2) of this subsection, the court shall appoint a health care guardian who shall be a licensed health care provider with specialized training in the treatment of persons with psychiatric disabilities to represent the health care interests of the defendant before the court. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-146e, such [person] health care guardian shall have access to the psychiatric records of the defendant. Such [person] health care guardian shall file a report with the court not later than thirty days after his or her appointment. The report shall set forth such [person's] health care guardian's findings and recommendations concerning the administration of psychiatric medication to the defendant including the risks and benefits of such medication, the likelihood and seriousness of any adverse side effects and the prognosis with and without such medication. The court shall hold a hearing on the matter not later than ten days after receipt of such [person's] health care guardian's report and shall, in deciding whether to order the involuntary medication of the defendant, take into account such [person's] health care guardian's opinion concerning the health care interests of the defendant.

(4) The state shall hold harmless and indemnify any health care guardian appointed by the court pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection from financial loss and expense arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of such health care guardian's alleged negligence or alleged deprivation of any person's civil rights or other act or omission resulting in damage or injury, provided the health care guardian is found to have been acting in the discharge of his or her duties pursuant to said subdivision (3) and such act or omission is found not to have been wanton, reckless or malicious. The provisions of subsections (b), (c) and (d) of section 5-141d shall apply to such health care guardian. The provisions of chapter 53 shall not apply to a claim against such health care guardian.

Approved May 31, 2001