OLR Research Report


June 6, 2002

 

2002-R-0528

MANDATED REPORTER LAW

 

By: Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney

Susan Price-Livingston, Associate Attorney

Mandated Reporters

Privilege Holder

Type of Communication

When Statute Permits Unconsented Disclosure

Clergymen

(CGS § 52-146b)

Confidential communications made to clergy in their professional capacity; applies to any civil or criminal case or proceedings preliminary thereto, or in any legislative or administrative proceeding

None in statute

Psychologists (CGS § 52-146c)

All oral and written communications and records relating to the diagnosis and treatment of a person between such person and the psychologist or between the psychologist and the patient's family members; applies in same settings as above

1. When made in court-ordered examination, if person has been told communications are not confidential and person's mental state is at issue;

2. In civil proceeding, where person introduces his psychological condition as an element of the case, or after death, when someone brings a case on his behalf (A court must find interests of justice more important than protecting the relationship between the person and psychologist);

3. When psychologist believes that there is risk of imminent personal injury to the person or to other people or their property;

4. When psychologist has good faith suspicion of child abuse or abuse of an elderly, disabled, or incompetent person;

5. In collection matters (limited disclosure); or

6. To a homicide victim's immediate family, when (a) patient has been found not guilty by reason of insanity after July 1, 1989, (b) they ask for this information within six years, and (c) used in civil suit about the death

Physicians

(CGS § 52-146o)

Communications made by, or information obtained from a patient or his conservator or guardian about any actual or supposed physical or mental disease or disorder or information obtained by examining the patient

1. Pursuant to any statute or regulation or court rule;

2. To an attorney or malpractice insurer when a legal claim is pending or may be filed and the information is used in the doctor's defense;

3. To DPH when it is investigating a complaint against the doctor; or

4. When the doctor has a good faith suspicion of child abuse or abuse of an elderly, disabled, retarded, or incompetent person

Psychiatrists (CGS § 52146d; also covered by CGS § 52-146o, above)

All oral and written communications and records relating to diagnosis or treatment of a patient's mental condition between the psychiatrist and patient, psychiatrist and patient's family, or between them and a person participating under the supervision of a psychiatrist in accomplishing the objectives of diagnosis and treatment, including a mental health facility's records

1. To other people treating or diagnosing the patient when the doctor deems it necessary and tells the patient;

2. When the doctor determines there is substantial risk of imminent physical injury to the patient or others or needs to disclose to hospitalize or commit the patient;

3. In collection matters (limited information);

4. When examination has been ordered by a court or in connection with a conservatorship application and (a) the patient is a party or his mental competence is at issue, (b) he has been informed that disclosure may occur, and (c) disclosure is limited to issues involving his mental condition;

5. In lawsuits when the patient introduces his mental condition as an element of the case and the court finds it more important to the interests of justice that the communications be disclosed than that the relationship be protected;

6. To the public health or mental health and addiction services commissioner in connection with facility inspections, investigation or examinations authorized by law;

7. To immediate family members or legal representatives of homicide victims, under same circumstances as psychologists;

8. To the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) in connection with a behavioral health service contractor's payment claim (limited information) or services provided to DMHAS clients; or

9. To researchers in some circumstances

Marital and family therapists (CGS § 52-146p)

Oral and written communications and records relating to the diagnosis and treatment of a person between the person or a family member and the therapist

1. Where mandated by any other provision of the general statutes,

2. Where therapist has good faith belief that failure to disclose presents a clear and present danger to a person's health or safety, or

3. In collection matters (limited information and prior notice to client required)

Social workers (CGS § 52-146q)

Oral and written communications and records relating to the evaluation and treatment of a person between the person or a family member and a social worker or someone acting under the social worker's supervision

1. To other treaters;

2. When there is a substantial risk of imminent physical injury to the person or someone else, or when disclosure is otherwise mandated by statute;

3. In court-ordered evaluations, when court finds need for justice outweighs protecting confidentiality;

4. In lawsuits when the client introduces his mental condition as an element of his claim or defense; and

5. In collection matters (limited information)

Professional counselors (CGS § 52-146e)

Oral and written communications and records relating to diagnosis and treatment between the person or family members and a counselor

1. In court-ordered mental health assessments, when judge finds that the person has been told that communications are not confidential, and only on issue of the person's mental condition;

2. In lawsuits, where the person has introduced his mental condition as an element of his claim or defense;

3. Where mandated by other statutes;

4. Where counselor has good faith belief that failure to disclose presents a clear and present danger to a person's health or safety or there is risk of imminent personal injury to a person or property;

5. Where counselor has good faith suspicion of child abuse or abuse of an elderly, disabled; and incompetent person; or

6. In collection matters (limited information)

Battered women's or sexual assault counselors (CGS § 52-146k)

Information transmitted between a victim and counselor in the course of that relationship and in confidence, by a means which, so far as the victim is aware, does not disclose the information to a third person other than anyone who is present to further the interests of the victim in the consultation or any person to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or for the accomplishment of the purposes for which the counselor is consulted; includes all information received by, and any advice, report, or working paper given or made by the counselor in the course of the relationship with the victim

Communications made after 10/1/83 cannot be disclosed in civil, criminal, administrative, or legislative proceedings. But the privilege does not apply:

1. when proving chain of custody of evidence or the physical appearance of the victim at the time of the injury or

2. when the counselor knows that the victim has given perjured testimony and the defendant or the state has made an offer of proof that perjury may have been committed

Elementary and high school teachers, administrators, and nurses (CGS § 10-154a)

Communications made privately and in confidence by a student, when information concerns the student's alcohol or drug abuse or any alcoholic or drug problem

Must turn over physical evidence obtained from a student indicating that a crime has been committed to school administrator or law enforcement within two days in most cases; not required to disclose student's name