CHAPTER 319dd
PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-451. (Formerly Sec. 17a-431). Report of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment or need for protective services. Penalty for failure to report. Immunity and protection from retaliation.
Sec. 17b-452. (Formerly Sec. 17a-432). Investigation of report. Findings and recommendation. Registry. Confidentiality.

      Sec. 17b-451. (Formerly Sec. 17a-431). Report of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment or need for protective services. Penalty for failure to report. Immunity and protection from retaliation. (a) Any physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 370, any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, any registered nurse, any nursing home administrator, nurse's aide or orderly in a nursing home facility, any person paid for caring for a patient in a nursing home facility, any staff person employed by a nursing home facility, any patients' advocate and any licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, social worker, clergyman, police officer, pharmacist, psychologist or physical therapist, who has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any elderly person has been abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or is in a condition which is the result of such abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, or is in need of protective services, shall, not later than seventy-two hours after such suspicion or belief arose, report such information or cause a report to be made in any reasonable manner to the Commissioner of Social Services or to the person or persons designated by the commissioner to receive such reports. Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report within the prescribed time period shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, except that, if such person intentionally fails to make such report within the prescribed time period, such person shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offense.

      (b) Such report shall contain the name and address of the involved elderly person, information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, and any other information which the reporter believes might be helpful in an investigation of the case and the protection of such elderly person.

      (c) Any other person having reasonable cause to suspect or believe that an elderly person is being, or has been, abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or who is in need of protective services may report such information in any reasonable manner to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.

      (d) (1) Subject to subdivision (2) of this subsection, any person who makes any report pursuant to sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such report shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability on account of such report or testimony, except for liability for perjury.

      (2) Any person who makes any report pursuant to sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, is guilty of making a fraudulent or malicious report or providing false testimony when such person (A) wilfully makes a fraudulent or malicious report to the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this section, (B) conspires with another person to make or cause to be made such report, or (C) wilfully testifies falsely in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such report as to the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of, or need of protective services for, an elderly person. Making a fraudulent or malicious report or providing false testimony is a class A misdemeanor.

      (e) Any person who is discharged or in any manner discriminated or retaliated against for making, in good faith, a report pursuant to this section shall be entitled to all remedies available under law including, but not limited to, remedies available under sections 19a-532 and 31-51m, as applicable.

      (f) For the purposes of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, the treatment of any elderly person by a Christian Science practitioner, in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, or the refusal of treatment by an elderly person for religious reasons shall not of itself constitute grounds for the implementation of protective services.

      (P.A. 77-613, S. 2, 15; P.A. 78-30; P.A. 80-190, S. 11; P.A. 84-546, S. 160, 173; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 99-101; 99-102, S. 15; P.A. 01-209, S. 1, 7; P.A. 03-267, S. 3; P.A. 04-257, S. 102; P.A. 11-224, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 78-30 added Subsec. (e) re treatment of elderly person by Christian Science practitioner; P.A. 80-190 removed coroners from list of those required to make report in Subsec. (a); P.A. 84-546 made technical changes, substituting "licensed" for "registered" where appearing; Sec. 46a-15 transferred to Sec. 17a-431 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-431 transferred to Sec. 17b-451 in 1995; P.A. 99-101 amended Subsec. (a) to add psychologists to list of professionals required to report suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of an elderly person; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting obsolete reference to chapter 371 and osteopaths and making a technical change; P.A. 01-209 amended Subsec. (c) to authorize report by any other person having reasonable cause to "suspect" abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment and to make a technical change for the purpose of gender neutrality, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 03-267 amended Subsec. (a) to require the report be made "not later than seventy-two hours after such suspicion or belief arose" rather than "within five calendar days", make penalty applicable to failing to make the report "within the prescribed time period" and add provision that if the person intentionally fails to make the report within the prescribed time period, the person shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offense, added new Subsec. (e) re remedies available to person who is discharged or in any manner discriminated or retaliated against for making a good faith report, redesignated existing Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (f) and amended said Subsec. to include "the refusal of treatment by an elderly person for religious reasons"; P.A. 04-257 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 11-224 amended Subsec. (d) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and amending same by adding provision making Subdiv. subject to Subdiv. (2) and deleting provision re person acting in bad faith or with malicious purpose, and by adding Subdiv. (2) re persons making fraudulent or malicious report or providing false testimony.

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      Sec. 17b-452. (Formerly Sec. 17a-432). Investigation of report. Findings and recommendation. Registry. Confidentiality. (a) The commissioner upon receiving a report that an elderly person allegedly is being, or has been, abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or is in need of protective services shall investigate the report to determine the situation relative to the condition of the elderly person and what action and services, if any, are required. The investigation shall include (1) a visit to the named elderly person, (2) consultation with those individuals having knowledge of the facts of the particular case, and (3) an interview with the elderly person alone unless (A) the elderly person refuses to consent to such interview, (B) a physician, having examined the elderly person not more than thirty days prior to or after the date on which the commissioner receives such report, provides a written letter stating that in the opinion of the physician an interview with the elderly person alone is medically contraindicated, or (C) the commissioner determines that such interview is not in the best interests of the elderly person. If the commissioner determines that a caretaker is interfering with the commissioner's ability to conduct an interview alone with the elderly person, the commissioner may bring an action in the Superior Court or Probate Court seeking an order enjoining such caretaker from interfering with the commissioner's ability to conduct an interview alone with the elderly person. In investigating a report under this subsection, the commissioner may subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath and compel the production of any necessary and relevant documents necessary to investigate the allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The commissioner may request the Attorney General to petition the Superior Court for such order as may be appropriate to enforce the provisions of this section. Upon completion of the investigation, written findings shall be prepared which shall include recommended action and a determination of whether protective services are needed. The person filing the report shall be notified of the findings, upon request.

      (b) The Department of Social Services shall maintain a state-wide registry of the reports received, the investigation and findings and the actions taken.

      (c) The client's file, the original report and the investigation report shall not be deemed public records nor be subject to the provisions of section 1-210. The name of the person making the original report or any person mentioned in such report shall not be disclosed unless the person making the original report specifically requests such disclosure or unless a judicial proceeding results therefrom or unless disclosure of the name of the elderly person about whom the report was made is required to fully investigate a report.

      (P.A. 77-613, S. 3, 15; P.A. 85-72; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 19, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13; P.A. 01-209, S. 2, 7; P.A. 11-224, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 85-72 amended Subsec. (c) to allow disclosure of the name of the elderly person about whom a report was made if required to fully evaluate a report; Sec. 46a-16 transferred to Sec. 17a-432 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-432 transferred to Sec. 17b-452 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 replaced references to regional ombudsman with the Department of Social Services and made technical changes, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-139 changed effective date of P.A. 95-160 but without affecting this section; P.A. 01-209 amended Subsec. (a) to require investigation in lieu of evaluation, to provide for an interview with the elderly person alone, to allow commissioner to seek a court order enjoining caretaker from interfering with the interview, to allow commissioner to subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath and compel production of documents necessary to investigate allegations, and to authorize commissioner to request Attorney General to seek a court order as appropriate to enforce provisions of section, and amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) to provide for investigation in lieu of evaluation, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 11-224 amended Subsec. (a)(3) by designating existing exception re refusal to consent to interview as Subpara. (A), adding Subpara. (B) re physician letter that interview alone is medically contraindicated, and designating existing exception re determination that interview is not in best interests as Subpara. (C).

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