CHAPTER 813
PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY
FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 46a-11. Duties and powers of director.
Sec. 46a-11a. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458). Definitions.
Sec. 46a-11c. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458b). Determination of mental retardation and probable cause for investigation. Investigation of certain deaths. Registry of reports maintained. Reports not public records.
Sec. 46a-11d. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458c). Protective services. Petition in Superior Court.
Sec. 46a-11f. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458e). Evaluation of person's ability to pay. Review of plan of protective services.

      Sec. 46a-11. Duties and powers of director. The director may, within available appropriations:

      (1) Purchase or contract for necessary services including, but not limited to, legal services;

      (2) Receive and spend, pursuant to the purposes of this chapter, moneys in the form of gifts, bequests, state appropriations, state or private grants or federal grants;

      (3) Establish a state-wide toll-free telephone information and referral system for persons with disabilities for referral of such persons to appropriate public or private agencies or services. Such information and referral system may be coordinated with the Governor's state-wide information bureau or any other existing information and referral services;

      (4) Receive and investigate complaints from persons with disabilities, parents or guardians of such persons or in writing from any other interested person, act as an advocate for any person with a disability and initiate or fund legal actions to protect the rights of any person with a disability;

      (5) Request and receive information, including personal data, concerning a person with a disability from any state or private agency, with the consent of such person with a disability, or the parent or guardian of such person, as appropriate. With respect to a developmentally disabled adult who has no guardian or whose guardian is an employee of the Department of Developmental Services, the director may request and receive such information only if:

      (A) A request for advocacy services has been made on such person's behalf;

      (B) Such person does not indicate refusal to give consent to receipt of the information by the director;

      (C) Such person resides in a facility for developmentally disabled persons, including any institution, as defined in subsection (a) of section 19a-490, or has been placed in a boarding home, group home or other residential facility pursuant to section 17a-277;

      (D) Such person has received an explanation of the manner in which any information obtained concerning such person will be used by the advocacy office;

      (E) Such person has received an explanation of such person's right to refuse to allow the director to request or receive such information; and

      (F) The director has documented the director's conscientious efforts to provide the required explanations and verified that the developmentally disabled person has not indicated refusal to give consent;

      (6) Coordinate and cooperate with other private and public agencies concerned with the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the rights of persons with disabilities and enter into cooperative agreements with public or private agencies for furtherance of the rights of persons with disabilities;

      (7) Represent, appear, intervene in or bring an action on behalf of any person with a disability or class of persons, with the consent of such person or the parent or legal guardian of such person, in any proceeding before any court, agency, board or commission in this state in which matters related to this chapter are in issue;

      (8) Implement, with the approval of the individual using a service provided by the advocacy office, a case follow-up system;

      (9) Research and identify the needs of persons with disabilities and programs and services available to meet those needs;

      (10) Develop and maintain a program of public education and information, such program to include, but not be limited to, education of the public concerning the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, in cooperation with existing state and private agencies, an outreach effort to discover persons with disabilities in need of assistance or an advocate and provisions for a class or group advocacy service;

      (11) Develop and maintain an individual advocacy service for persons with disabilities which shall investigate referred problems or complaints;

      (12) Receive, review and make such recommendations as he deems appropriate on applications for waivers from the requirements of the State Building Code, submitted by the State Building Inspector pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of section 29-269;

      (13) Ensure that all aspects of agency operations conform to federally established protection and advocacy requirements for program independence and authority, including:

      (A) Structural independence from other agencies which provide services to people with disabilities;

      (B) Authority to pursue legal and administrative remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities;

      (C) Authority to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities who receive care, treatment or services;

      (D) Authority to access persons who are residents of facilities or clients of services systems, and with appropriate consent, to access such residents' records concerning care, treatment or services;

      (E) Authority to educate policy makers, consumers and members of the public about issues affecting persons with disabilities;

      (F) Authority to reach out to members of traditionally underserved populations; and

      (G) Authority to develop an annual statement of priorities and objectives and to solicit public comment and input on such process; and

      (14) Establish an Accessibility Advisory Board with membership comprised of design professionals, persons with disabilities, persons who have family members with disabilities and any other person that the director believes would provide valuable insight and input on matters relating to accessibility. The Accessibility Advisory Board shall meet periodically at such times and places as the director designates, to advise the director on accessibility matters relating to housing, transportation, government programs and services, and any other matters deemed advisable by the director or the board.

      (P.A. 77-589, S. 4, 9; P.A. 78-351, S. 2, 3; P.A. 86-285, S. 1; P.A. 88-356, S. 4; 88-364, S. 56, 123; P.A. 94-87, S. 5; P.A. 03-88, S. 1; P.A. 04-257, S. 72; P.A. 05-288, S. 154; P.A. 06-56, S. 1; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a).)

      History: P.A. 78-351 added Subdiv. (12) empowering director to make recommendations re applications for waivers from requirements of article 21 of state building code; P.A. 86-285 amended Subdiv. (5) by making a technical change and permitted the director to request and receive information on a developmentally disabled adult under certain conditions enunciated in new Subparas. (A), (B), (C), (D), (E) and (F); P.A. 88-356 and 88-364 amended Subdiv. (12) to delete reference to "article 21" of state building code; P.A. 94-87 changed reference from handicapped persons to persons with disabilities; P.A. 03-88 added new Subdiv. (13) requiring director to ensure that agency operations conform with federal requirements for program independence and authority; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subdiv. (5), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subdiv. (5)(B), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 06-56 added Subdiv. (14) permitting director to establish Accessibility Advisory Board, appoint board membership and convene meetings of said board; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 46a-11a. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458). Definitions. For the purposes of sections 46a-11a to 46a-11g, inclusive:

      (1) "Abuse" means the wilful infliction of physical pain or injury or the wilful deprivation by a caretaker of services which are necessary to the person's health or safety;

      (2) "Neglect" means a situation where a person with mental retardation either is living alone and is not able to provide for himself the services which are necessary to maintain his physical and mental health or is not receiving such necessary services from the caretaker;

      (3) "Caretaker" means a person who has the responsibility for the care of a person with mental retardation as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the person with mental retardation voluntarily, by contract or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Neither a guardian nor a conservator need be a caretaker;

      (4) "Conservator" means a conservator of the person or of the estate appointed pursuant to section 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive;

      (5) "Director" means the director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities;

      (6) "Facility" means any public or private hospital, nursing home facility, training school, regional facility, group home, community training home, school or other program serving persons with mental retardation;

      (7) "Guardian" means the guardian or limited guardian of a person with mental retardation appointed pursuant to sections 45a-669 to 45a-684, inclusive;

      (8) "Person with mental retardation" means a person who: (A) Has mental retardation, as defined in section 1-1g, (B) is at least the age of eighteen and under the age of sixty, except for purposes of subsection (b) of section 46a-11c, is eighteen years of age or older, and (C) is substantially unable to protect himself from abuse and includes all such persons living in residential facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Developmental Services;

      (9) "Protective services" means services provided by the state or any other governmental or private organization or individual which are necessary to prevent abuse or neglect. Such services may include the provision of medical care for physical and mental health needs; the provision of support services in the facility, including the time limited placement of department staff in such facility; the relocation of a person with mental retardation to a facility able to offer such care pursuant to section 17a-210, 17a-274 or 17a-277, as applicable; assistance in personal hygiene; food; clothing; adequately heated and ventilated shelter; protection from health and safety hazards; protection from maltreatment, the result of which includes, but is not limited to, malnutrition, deprivation of necessities or physical punishment; and transportation necessary to secure any of the above-stated services, except that this term shall not include taking such person into custody without consent; and

      (10) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Developmental Services.

      (P.A. 84-514, S. 1, 11; P.A. 86-41, S. 8, 11; 86-285, S. 2; P.A. 89-144, S. 5; P.A. 95-63, S. 1; P.A. 04-12, S. 1; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a), (b).)

      History: P.A. 84-514 effective February 1, 1985; P.A. 86-41 made technical change in definition of "facility"; P.A. 86-285 inserted new Subdiv. (b) defining "neglect", relettering remaining Subdivs. as necessary, and redefined "protective services" to include those necessary to prevent neglect and support services in a facility; P.A. 89-144 amended Subsec. (e) by substituting the office of protection and advocacy for persons with disabilities for the office of protection and advocacy for handicapped and developmentally disabled persons; Sec. 19a-458 transferred to Sec. 46a-11a in 1991; (Revisor's note: In 1993 a reference to repealed Sec. 17-128 was removed editorially by the Revisors); P.A. 95-63 substituted "person with mental retardation" for "mentally retarded person" and made technical changes; P.A. 04-12 redesignated Subdivs. (a) to (j) as Subdivs. (1) to (10), respectively, and redefined "person with mental retardation" in Subdiv. (8) to provide an exception and to add Subpara. designators (Revisor's note: In 2005, a reference in Subdiv. (7) to Sec. 45a-668 was changed editorially by the Revisors to Sec. 45a-669 to reflect the repeal of Sec. 45a-668 by P.A. 04-54); pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Commissioner of Mental Retardation" and "Department of Mental Retardation" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Developmental Services" and "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 46a-11c. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458b). Determination of mental retardation and probable cause for investigation. Investigation of certain deaths. Registry of reports maintained. Reports not public records. (a) The director, upon receiving a report that a person with mental retardation allegedly is being or has been abused or neglected, shall make an initial determination whether such person has mental retardation, shall determine if the report warrants investigation and shall cause, in cases that so warrant, a prompt, thorough evaluation to be made to determine whether the person has mental retardation and has been abused or neglected. For the purposes of sections 46a-11a to 46a-11g, inclusive, the determination of mental retardation may be made by means of a review of records and shall not require the director to conduct a full psychological examination of the person. Any delay in making such determination of mental retardation shall not delay the investigation of abuse or neglect or recommendation of provision of protective services. The evaluation shall include a visit to the named person with mental retardation and consultation with those individuals having knowledge of the facts of the particular case. All state, local and private agencies shall have a duty to cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities under this section, including the release of complete client records for review, inspection and copying, except where the person with mental retardation refuses to permit his or her record to be released. The director shall have subpoena powers to compel any information related to such investigation. All client records shall be kept confidential by said office. Upon completion of the evaluation of each case, written findings shall be prepared which shall include a determination of whether abuse or neglect has occurred and recommendations as to whether protective services are needed. The director, except in cases where the parent or guardian is the alleged perpetrator of abuse or is residing with the alleged perpetrator, shall notify the parents or guardian, if any, of the person with mental retardation if a report of abuse or neglect is made which the director determines warrants investigation. The director shall provide the parents or guardians who the director determines are entitled to such information with further information upon request. The person filing the report of abuse or neglect shall be notified of the findings upon request.

      (b) In cases where there is a death of a person with mental retardation for whom the Department of Developmental Services has direct or oversight responsibility for medical care, and there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that such death may be due to abuse or neglect, the Commissioner of Developmental Services shall notify the director or the director's designee not later than twenty-four hours after the commissioner determines that there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that such death may be due to abuse or neglect and the director shall conduct an investigation to determine whether abuse or neglect occurred, except as may be otherwise required by court order. The director, in consultation with the Commissioner of Developmental Services, shall establish protocols for conducting such investigations.

      (c) The director shall maintain a state-wide registry of the reports received, the evaluation and findings and actions recommended.

      (d) Neither the original report nor the evaluation report of the investigator which includes findings and recommendations shall be deemed a public record for purposes of section 1-210. The name of the person making the original report shall not be disclosed to any person unless the person making the original report consents to such disclosure or unless a judicial proceeding results therefrom.

      (P.A. 84-514, S. 3, 11; P.A. 86-285, S. 4; P.A. 89-144, S. 6; P.A. 95-63, S. 3; P.A. 03-146, S. 3; P.A. 04-12, S. 3; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a), (b).)

      History: P.A. 84-514 effective February 1, 1985; P.A. 86-285 applied provisions to cases involving neglect, authorized director to refrain from notifying a parent or guardian where either is the alleged perpetrator and made technical changes; P.A. 89-144 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting the office of protection and advocacy for persons with disabilities for the office of protection and advocacy for handicapped and developmentally disabled persons; Sec. 19a-458b transferred to Sec. 46a-11c in 1991; P.A. 95-63 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting "person with mental retardation" for "mentally retarded person"; P.A. 03-146 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions requiring director to investigate death of a person in certain cases and making technical changes for the purpose of gender neutrality; P.A. 04-12 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provisions re investigation of death of person with mental retardation, added new Subsec. (b) re procedure to be followed in cases where person with mental retardation for whom Department of Mental Retardation has direct or oversight responsibility for medical care dies as a result of suspected abuse or neglect and redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) and (c) as new Subsecs. (c) and (d), respectively; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Commissioner of Mental Retardation" and "Department of Mental Retardation" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Developmental Services" and "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 46a-11d. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458c). Protective services. Petition in Superior Court. (a) If it is determined that a person with mental retardation has been abused or neglected, the director shall refer the case to the Department of Developmental Services for the development and implementation of a plan of protective services. Said referral shall be accompanied by a copy of the evaluation report. The name of the person making the report of abuse or neglect shall not be disclosed without his consent.

      (b) If the caretaker of a person with mental retardation who has consented to the receipt of protective services refuses to allow the provision of such services to such person, the commissioner may petition the Superior Court for an order enjoining the caretaker from interfering with the provision of protective services to the person with mental retardation. The petition shall allege specific facts sufficient to show that the person with mental retardation is in need of protective services and consents to their provision and that the caretaker refuses to allow the provision of such services. If the court finds that the person with mental retardation is in need of such services and has been prevented by the caretaker from receiving the same, the court may issue an order enjoining the caretaker from interfering with the provision of protective services to the person with mental retardation.

      (P.A. 84-514, S. 4, 11; P.A. 86-285, S. 5; P.A. 95-63, S. 4; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a).)

      History: P.A. 84-514 effective February 1, 1985; P.A. 86-285 amended section to apply in cases of neglect rather than where a person has been determined to be "in need of protective services" and made technical change in Subsec. (a); Sec. 19a-458c transferred to Sec. 46a-11d in 1991; P.A. 95-63 substituted "person with mental retardation" for "mentally retarded person"; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 46a-11f. (Formerly Sec. 19a-458e). Evaluation of person's ability to pay. Review of plan of protective services. (a) Concurrent with the implementation of any protective services for which payment is required, an evaluation shall be undertaken by the commissioner regarding the ability of the person with mental retardation to pay for the protective services. If the person is so able, procedures for reimbursement for the cost of providing the services shall be initiated. If it is determined that the person is not capable of paying for such services, the services shall be provided in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Commissioner of Developmental Services.

      (b) Subsequent to the initial provision of protective services, the Department of Developmental Services shall review each case, including meeting with the person with mental retardation at least once every six months, to determine whether continuation or modification of the services is warranted. Said department shall advise the director relative to the continuation of protective services for each such person with mental retardation. The commissioner may terminate protective services upon the request of the person with mental retardation or his guardian, pursuant to section 46a-11e, or upon agreement by the commissioner and the director that such services are no longer required.

      (c) In performing the duties set forth in sections 46a-11c to 46a-11g, inclusive, the director may request the assistance of the staffs and resources of all appropriate state departments, agencies, commissions and local health directors, and may utilize any other public or private agencies, groups or individuals who are appropriate and may be available.

      (P.A. 84-514, S. 6-8, 11; P.A. 95-63, S. 6; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a), (b).)

      History: P.A. 84-514 effective February 1, 1985; Sec. 19a-458e transferred to Sec. 46a-11f in 1991; P.A. 95-63 substituted "person with mental retardation" for "mentally retarded person"; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Commissioner of Mental Retardation" and "Department of Mental Retardation" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Developmental Services" and "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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