OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6741 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RIGHT OF COUNSEL TO ACCESS RECORDS IN CERTAIN ABUSE AND NEGLECT PROCEEDINGS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires counsel in certain juvenile court proceedings, once appointed or assigned, to be granted immediate access to (1) certain records related to the child without securing further releases and (2) the child to consult with him or her privately.

Under the bill, counsel must be granted access if a competent witness has accused the child's parent or guardian of abusing the child or causing the child to be neglected or uncared for.

Under the bill, related records include (1) Department of Social Services records and (2) medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment, law enforcement, and educational records. By law, attorneys who represent children in juvenile court must automatically be granted access to the related court and Department of Children and Families records (CGS 17a-28(g)(3) and 46b-124(b)).

*House Amendment “A” eliminates the bill's provision allowing any party to seek a court order granting access to the records and child, instead providing immediate access only to counsel.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

12

Nay

1

(03/02/2017)

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

41

Nay

0

(04/25/2017)