PA 17-119—sHB 6741

Committee on Children

Judiciary Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act requires appointed or assigned counsel in certain juvenile court proceedings involving child abuse or neglect to be granted immediate access to (1) certain records related to the child without securing further releases and (2) the child to consult privately with him or her.

Under the act, counsel must be granted access if a competent witness has accused the child's parent or guardian of (1) abusing the child or (2) neglecting or not caring for the child.

Under the act, 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 related court and Department of Children and Families records (CGS 17a-28(g)(3) & 46b-124(b)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017