CHAPTER 319dd

PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-450. (Formerly Sec. 17a-430). Definitions.

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. Training program.

Sec. 17b-452. (Formerly Sec. 17a-432). Investigation of report. Findings, recommendations and disclosure of results. Registry. Confidentiality.

Sec. 17b-452a. Annual report re complaints of abuse or neglect of elderly persons.

Sec. 17b-453. (Formerly Sec. 17a-433). Initiation of protective services. Injunction against interference by caregiver.

Sec. 17b-453a. Staff training re Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Sec. 17b-454. (Formerly Sec. 17a-434). Disclosure of protected health information and other information. Authority of commissioner.

Sec. 17b-455. (Formerly Sec. 17a-435). Lack of consent or withdrawal of consent.

Sec. 17b-456. (Formerly Sec. 17a-436). Appointment of conservator for elderly person lacking capacity to consent to protective services.

Sec. 17b-457. (Formerly Sec. 17a-437). Assistance by public or private agencies.

Sec. 17b-458. (Formerly Sec. 17a-438). Periodic review of cases in which protective services are provided. Consent to continuation of services.

Sec. 17b-459. (Formerly Sec. 17a-439). Payment for protective services. Procedures when elderly person unable to pay.

Sec. 17b-459a. Strategic plan to incorporate national standards.

Sec. 17b-460. (Formerly Sec. 17a-440). Referral for criminal investigation or proceedings.

Sec. 17b-461. (Formerly Sec. 17a-441). Regulations.

Sec. 17b-462. Cause of action by elderly victim. Civil attachment jurisdiction.

Sec. 17b-463. Mandatory training for financial agents in detecting fraud, exploitation and financial abuse of elderly persons.

Sec. 17b-463a. Forum, clearing house and portal for training resources re best practices for detecting fraud, exploitation and financial abuse.

Sec. 17b-464. Petition for order to enter premises of elderly person.

Secs. 17b-465 to 17b-489. Reserved


Sec. 17b-450. (Formerly Sec. 17a-430). Definitions. For purposes of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive:

(1) The term “elderly person” means any resident of Connecticut who is sixty years of age or older.

(2) An elderly person shall be deemed to be “in need of protective services” if such person is unable to perform or obtain services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health.

(3) The term “services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health” includes, but is not limited to: (A) The provision of medical care for physical and mental health needs, (B) the relocation of an elderly person to a facility or institution able to offer such care, (C) assistance in personal hygiene, food, clothing, adequately heated and ventilated shelter, (D) protection from health and safety hazards, (E) protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, and (F) transportation necessary to secure any of the above stated needs, except that this term shall not include taking such person into custody without consent except as provided in sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive.

(4) The term “protective services” means services provided by the state or other governmental or private organizations or individuals which are necessary to prevent abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment.

(5) The term “abuse” includes, but is not limited to, the wilful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish, or the wilful deprivation by a caregiver of services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health.

(6) The term “neglect” refers to the failure or inability of an elderly person to provide for himself or herself the services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health or the failure to provide or arrange for provision of such necessary services by a caregiver.

(7) The term “exploitation” refers to the act or process of taking advantage of an elderly person by another person or caregiver whether for monetary, personal or other benefit, gain or profit.

(8) The term “abandonment” refers to the desertion or wilful forsaking of an elderly person by a caregiver or the foregoing of duties or the withdrawal or neglect of duties and obligations owed an elderly person by a caregiver or other person.

(9) The term “caregiver” means a person who has the responsibility for the care of an elderly person as a result of family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the elderly person voluntarily, by contract or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(10) The term “legal representative” means a guardian of a person with intellectual disability, conservator or power of attorney appointed to act on the elderly person's behalf.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 1, 15; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 18, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13; P.A. 06-196, S. 240; P.A. 15-233, S. 1; 15-236, S. 1.)

History: Sec. 46a-14 transferred to Sec. 17a-430 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-430 transferred to Sec. 17b-450 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 deleted the definition of “state ombudsman” and “regional ombudsman”, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-139 changed effective date of P.A. 95-160 but without affecting this section; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subdiv. (4), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 15-233 redefined “services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health” in Subdiv. (3), redesignated existing Subdiv. (4) as Subdivs. (4) to (9) and amended same to redefine “abuse”, “neglect”, “exploitation”, “abandonment” and change “caretaker” to “caregiver”, added Subdiv. (10) defining “legal representative”, and made conforming changes; P.A. 15-236 redefined “services which are necessary to maintain physical and mental health” in Subdiv. (3), redesignated existing Subdiv. (4) as Subdivs. (4) to (9) and amended same to redefine “abuse”, “neglect”, “exploitation”, “abandonment” and change “caretaker” to “caregiver”, and made conforming changes.

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. Training program. (a) A mandatory reporter, as defined in this section, who has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any elderly person has been abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or is in a condition that 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. The term “mandatory reporter” means (1) any physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 370, (2) any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, (3) any registered nurse, (4) any nursing home administrator, nurse's aide or orderly in a nursing home facility or residential care home, (5) any person paid for caring for a patient in a nursing home facility or residential care home, (6) any staff person employed by a nursing home facility or residential care home, (7) any patients' advocate, (8) any licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, social worker, clergyman, police officer, pharmacist, psychologist or physical therapist, (9) any person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility, including without limitation, any employee of a community-based services provider, senior center, home care agency, homemaker and companion agency, adult day care center, village-model community and congregate housing facility, and (10) any person licensed or certified as an emergency medical services provider pursuant to chapter 368d or chapter 384d, including any such emergency medical services provider who is a member of a municipal fire department. Any mandatory reporter 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. Any institution, organization, agency or facility employing individuals to care for persons sixty years of age or older shall provide mandatory training on detecting potential abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment of such persons and inform such employees of their obligations under this section. For purposes of this subsection, “person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility” includes an employee of a community-based services provider, senior center, home health care agency, homemaker and companion agency, adult day care center, village-model community and congregate housing facility.

(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.

(g) The Commissioner of Social Services shall develop an educational training program to promote and encourage the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment of elderly persons. Such training program shall be made available on the Internet web site of the Department of Social Services to mandated reporters and other interested persons. The commissioner shall also make such training available in person or otherwise at various times and locations throughout the state as determined by the commissioner.

(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; P.A. 13-208, S. 26; 13-250, S. 4; P.A. 15-236, S. 2; 15-242, S. 9; P.A. 16-149, S. 2.)

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; P.A. 13-208 amended Subsec. (a) by adding references to residential care home and making a technical change, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 13-250 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions re reporting by any person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility, and to add provision re mandatory training, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 15-236 amended Subsec. (a) by repositioning existing provisions re requirements of a mandatory reporter, designating existing provisions re list of mandatory reporters as Subdivs. (1) to (9), adding Subdiv. (10) re person licensed or certified as an emergency medical services provider, adding provision re training on detecting exploitation and abandonment and making technical changes; P.A. 15-242 made same changes as P.A. 15-236 and additionally defined “person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility”; P.A. 16-149 added Subsec. (g) re training program, effective July 1, 2016.

See Sec. 17a-412 re required reporting of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of residents in long-term care facilities.

Public policy of protecting vulnerable patients embodied in this section and Sec. 19a-550 do not evince a legislative determination that skilled nursing home employee who failed to timely report suspected abuse of patient is necessarily unfit for continued employment, after application of the 4 factors a reviewing court should consider when evaluating claim that arbitration award reinstating terminated employee violates public policy. 316 C. 618.

Sec. 17b-452. (Formerly Sec. 17a-432). Investigation of report. Findings, recommendations and disclosure of results. 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 condition of the elderly person and what action and services, if any, are required. The investigation shall include (1) an in-person 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, or (B) the commissioner determines that such interview is not in the best interests of the elderly person. If the commissioner determines that a caregiver 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 caregiver 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, exploitation 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, the commissioner shall prepare written findings that shall include recommended action and a determination of whether protective services are needed. Not later than forty-five days after completion of the investigation, the commissioner shall disclose, in general terms, the result of the investigation to the person or persons who reported the suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, provided: (i) The person who made such report is legally mandated to make such report, (ii) the information is not otherwise privileged or confidential under state or federal law, (iii) the names of the witnesses or other persons interviewed are kept confidential, and (iv) the names of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment are not disclosed unless such person or persons have been arrested as a result of the investigation.

(b) The Department of Social Services shall maintain a state-wide registry of the number of reports received, the allegations and the outcomes.

(c) The elderly person's file, including, but not limited to, the original report and the investigation report shall not be deemed a public record nor be subject to the provisions of section 1-210. The commissioner may disclose the elderly person's file, in whole or in part, to an individual, agency, corporation or organization only with the written authorization of the elderly person, the elderly person's legal representative or as provided by this section.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, if the commissioner determines it to be necessary to assure the health, safety and welfare of an elderly person, the commissioner may disclose the elderly person's records, whether or not created by the department, and not otherwise privileged or confidential communications under state or federal law, without the authorization of the elderly person or the elderly person's legal representative (1) to multidisciplinary teams that may be formed to assist the department in investigation, evaluation or treatment of elderly abuse and neglect cases; (2) to law enforcement officials; and (3) in proceedings authorized under this chapter or in any action the commissioner deems necessary to assure the health, safety and welfare of any elderly person.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the commissioner shall not disclose the name of a person who reported suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of an elderly person except with that person's written permission or to a law enforcement official pursuant to a court order that specifically requires such disclosure.

(f) The elderly person or his or her legal representative or attorney shall have the right of access to records made, maintained or kept on file by the department, in accordance with all applicable state and federal law, when those records pertain to or contain information or material concerning the elderly person, including, but not limited to, records concerning investigations, reports or medical, psychological or psychiatric examinations of the elderly person except: (1) If protected health information were obtained by the department from someone other than a health care provider under the promise of confidentiality and the access requested would be reasonably likely to reveal the source of the information; (2) that information identifying the individual who reported the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of the elderly person shall not be released unless, upon application to the Superior Court by the elderly person and served on the Commissioner of Social Services, a judge determines, after in camera inspection of relevant records and a hearing, that there is reasonable cause to believe the reporter knowingly made a false report or that other interests of justice require such release; (3) if it is determined by a licensed health care professional that the access requested is reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the elderly person or another person; (4) if the protected health information makes reference to another person, other than a health care provider, and a licensed health care professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access requested is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such other person; or (5) the request for access is made by the elderly person's legal representative, and a licensed health care professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the provision of access to such legal representative is reasonably likely to cause harm to the elderly person or another person.

(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; P.A. 15-233, S. 2; P.A. 16-149, S. 3.)

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); P.A. 15-233 amended Subsec. (a) to add “in-person” re visits, delete interview exception based on physician opinion, add “exploitation” and change “caretaker” to “caregiver”, amended Subsec. (b) to add “number of” re reports, replace “investigations” with “allegations” and replace “findings and the actions taken” with “the outcomes”, amended Subsec. (c) to replace provision re names not to be disclosed with provision re disclosure of elderly person's file, added Subsecs. (d) to (f) re disclosure of records and names and access to records, and made technical and conforming changes, effective July 1, 2015; P.A. 16-149 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions re commissioner to disclose result of investigation and make technical changes, effective July 1, 2016.

Sec. 17b-452a. Annual report re complaints of abuse or neglect of elderly persons. Not later than July 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, shall submit a report to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging, human services and public health, detailing: (1) The number of complaints involving abuse or neglect of elderly persons received in the previous calendar year in the categories of (A) physical abuse, (B) mental abuse, (C) self-neglect, (D) neglect by others, and (E) financial exploitation; (2) the disposition of complaints; and (3) whether and by how much complaints per category have increased or decreased from the previous year.

(P.A. 13-250, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 13-250 effective July 1, 2013.

Sec. 17b-453. (Formerly Sec. 17a-433). Initiation of protective services. Injunction against interference by caregiver. (a) If it is determined that an elderly person is in need of protective services, services shall be initiated, provided the elderly person consents. If the elderly person fails to consent and the commissioner has reason to believe that such elderly person is incapable of managing his personal or financial affairs, the commissioner shall provide protective services to the extent possible and may apply to Probate Court for the appointment of a conservator of person or estate, as appropriate.

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

(P.A. 77-613, S. 4, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 20, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13; P.A. 15-233, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced commissioner and department of social services with commissioner and department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 46a-17 transferred to Sec. 17a-433 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-433 transferred to Sec. 17b-453 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing a reference to the regional ombudsman with the protective services staff of the Department of Social Services, by replacing a provision requiring the regional ombudsman to refer an elderly person, whom he believes lacks the capacity to consent, to the Department of Social Services for a determination of whether a petition for the appointment of a conservator should be filed with a provision requiring the protective services staff to provide protective services and to allow such staff to apply to Probate Court for the appointment of a conservator for an elderly person whom they believe is incapable of managing his personal or financial affairs and by making 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. 15-233 amended Subsec. (a) to replace references to protective services staff with references to commissioner and amended Subsec. (b) to change “caretaker” to “caregiver” and make a technical change, effective July 1, 2015.

Annotation to former section 46a-17:

Cited. 199 C. 524.

Sec. 17b-453a. Staff training re Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The Commissioner of Social Services shall ensure that all employees assigned to the Department of Social Service's protective services for the elderly program who directly interact with elderly persons receive annual training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care.

(P.A. 14-194, S. 11.)

Sec. 17b-454. (Formerly Sec. 17a-434). Disclosure of protected health information and other information. Authority of commissioner. A covered entity, as defined in 45 CFR 160.103, shall disclose to the commissioner all relevant protected health information and other information about an elderly person that is necessary for the commissioner to investigate an allegation of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, provided the covered entity shall provide notice to such elderly person in accordance with subsection (c) of 45 CFR 164.512. If the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that the elderly person is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, the commissioner may issue a subpoena to obtain protected health information or other information necessary to investigate the allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation 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. The commissioner's authority shall include, but shall not be limited to, the right to initiate or otherwise take those actions necessary to assure the health, safety and welfare of any elderly person.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 5, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-262, S. 52, 87; P.A. 01-209, S. 3, 7; P.A. 15-233, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced department of social services with department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 46a-18 transferred to Sec. 17a-434 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 changed reference to departments of income maintenance and human resources to department of social services, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-434 transferred to Sec. 17b-454 in 1995; P.A. 01-209 added provisions re subpoena power of commissioner, allowed commissioner to request Attorney General to seek a court order as appropriate to enforce provisions of section and made a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 15-233 deleted provisions re access to records and individual consent, changed “confidential records” to “protected health information or other information”, added provisions re disclosure by covered entity and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2015.

See Sec. 19a-534 re emergency transfer of patients to other facilities.

See Sec. 19a-535 re transfer or discharge of patients.

Annotation to former section 46a-18:

Cited. 199 C. 524.

Sec. 17b-455. (Formerly Sec. 17a-435). Lack of consent or withdrawal of consent. If an elderly person does not consent to the receipt of reasonable and necessary protective services, or if such person withdraws the consent, such services shall not be provided or continued, except that if the commissioner has reason to believe that such elderly person lacks capacity to consent, the commissioner may seek court authorization to provide necessary services, as provided in section 17b-456.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 6, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 87-132, S. 1; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 21, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13; P.A. 15-233, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced commissioner and department of social services with commissioner and department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 87-132 amended Subsec. (b) by changing the time limit for the report from 10 days to 30 days and by requiring initiation of planning within 10 days; Sec. 46a-19 transferred to Sec. 17a-435 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-435 transferred to Sec. 17b-455 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 deleted former Subsec. (b) requiring the department to initiate service planning upon receipt of a case for the provision of protective services from the regional ombudsman, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-139 changed effective date of P.A. 95-160 but without affecting this section; P.A. 15-233 made technical changes, effective July 1, 2015.

Sec. 17b-456. (Formerly Sec. 17a-436). Appointment of conservator for elderly person lacking capacity to consent to protective services. (a) If the Commissioner of Social Services finds that an elderly person is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned and lacks capacity to consent to reasonable and necessary protective services, the commissioner may petition the Probate Court for appointment of a conservator of the elderly person pursuant to the provisions of sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive, in order to obtain such consent.

(b) Such elderly person or the individual, agency or organization designated to be responsible for the personal welfare of the elderly person shall have the right to bring a motion in the cause for review of the Probate Court's determination regarding the elderly person's capacity or an order issued pursuant to sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive.

(c) The Probate Court may appoint the Commissioner of Social Services to be the conservator of the person of such elderly person pursuant to the provisions of section 45a-651.

(d) In any proceeding in Probate Court pursuant to the provisions of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, the Probate Court shall appoint an attorney to represent the elderly person if he or she is without other legal representation.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 7, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 15-233, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced commissioner of social services with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 46a-20 transferred to Sec. 17a-436 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-436 transferred to Sec. 17b-456 in 1995; P.A. 15-233 deleted “, if it deems appropriate,” and added reference to Sec. 45a-651 in Subsec. (c) and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2015.

Sec. 17b-457. (Formerly Sec. 17a-437). Assistance by public or private agencies. In performing the duties set forth in sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, the Department of Social Services may request the assistance of the staffs and resources of all appropriate state departments, agencies and commissions and local health directors, and may utilize any other public or private agencies, groups or individuals who are appropriate and who may be available.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 8, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 22, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced department of social services with department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 46a-21 transferred to Sec. 17a-437 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-437 transferred to Sec. 17b-457 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 deleted a reference to the regional ombudsmen, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-139 changed effective date of P.A. 95-160 but without affecting this section.

Sec. 17b-458. (Formerly Sec. 17a-438). Periodic review of cases in which protective services are provided. Consent to continuation of services. Subsequent to the authorization for the provision of reasonable and necessary protective services, the Department of Social Services shall initiate a review of each case within ninety days, to determine whether continuation of, or modification in, the services provided is warranted. A decision to continue the provision of such services should be made in concert with appropriate personnel from other involved state and local groups, agencies and departments, and shall comply with the consent provisions of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive. Reevaluations of each such case shall be made every ninety days thereafter.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 9, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 87-132, S. 2; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-160, S. 23, 69; P.A. 96-139, S. 12, 13.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced department of social services with department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 87-132 changed the time for the initiation of a review from 45 to 90 days; Sec. 46a-22 transferred to Sec. 17a-438 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-438 transferred to Sec. 17b-458 in 1995; P.A. 95-160 deleted a provision requiring the department to advise the regional ombudsman of decisions relating to the continuation of protective services for each elderly person, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-139 changed effective date of P.A. 95-160 but without affecting this section.

Sec. 17b-459. (Formerly Sec. 17a-439). Payment for protective services. Procedures when elderly person unable to pay. Concurrent with the implementation of any protective services, an evaluation shall be undertaken by the Department of Social Services, pursuant to regulations that shall be adopted by the Commissioner of Social Services, in accordance with chapter 54, regarding the elderly person's financial capability for paying for the protective services. If the elderly person is so able, procedures for the reimbursement for the costs of providing the needed protective services shall be initiated. If it is determined that the elderly person is not financially capable of paying for such needed services, the services shall be provided in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Commissioner of Social Services for the provision of welfare benefits under such circumstances.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 10, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-30, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 15-233, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced commissioner and department of social services with commissioner and department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-30 made minor wording changes and made initiation of procedures for reimbursement of costs mandatory if person is able to pay, substituting “shall” for “should”; Sec. 46a-23 transferred to Sec. 17a-439 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-439 transferred to Sec. 17b-459 in 1995; P.A. 15-233 changed “person” to “elderly person” and made a technical change, effective July 1, 2015.

Sec. 17b-459a. Strategic plan to incorporate national standards. (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Administration for Community Living” or “ACL” means the organization created by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the independence, well-being and health of adults sixty years of age and older, persons with disabilities of all ages and their families and caregivers.

(2) “National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System” means the national data reporting and collection system designed to provide consistent, accurate national data on the exploitation and abuse of adults sixty years of age and older and adults with disabilities, as reported to state adult protective services departments nationwide.

(3) “Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services” means national guidelines developed by the ACL that state adult protective services departments may adopt to respond to reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment.

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall develop a strategic plan to (1) incorporate the ACL's Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services into protective services for adults sixty years of age and older offered in the state, and (2) align state data collection with the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System. Not later than July 1, 2017, the Commissioner of Social Services shall submit the plan, that shall include, but need not be limited to, recommendations for changes in state law, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging and human services.

(P.A. 16-149, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 16-149 effective July 1, 2016.

Sec. 17b-460. (Formerly Sec. 17a-440). Referral for criminal investigation or proceedings. If, as a result of any investigation initiated under the provisions of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive, a determination is made that a caregiver or other person has abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned an elderly person, such information shall be referred in writing to the Chief State's Attorney or the Chief State's Attorney's designee who shall conduct such further investigation, if any, as deemed necessary and shall determine whether criminal proceedings should be initiated against such caregiver or other person, in accordance with applicable state law.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 11, 15; P.A. 03-267, S. 4; 03-278, S. 68; P.A. 15-233, S. 8.)

History: Sec. 46a-24 transferred to Sec. 17a-440 in 1991; Sec. 17a-440 transferred to Sec. 17b-460 in 1995; P.A. 03-267 replaced “the appropriate office of the state's attorney” with “the Chief State's Attorney or the Chief State's Attorney's designee” as the recipient of the referral and the party responsible for conducting any further investigation and determining if criminal proceedings should be initiated and made technical changes; P.A. 03-278 made technical changes, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 15-233 changed “caretaker” to “caregiver”, effective July 1, 2015.

Sec. 17b-461. (Formerly Sec. 17a-441). Regulations. Regulations shall be promulgated by the Commissioner of Social Services to carry out the provisions of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461, inclusive.

(P.A. 77-613, S. 12, 15; 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-262, S. 53, 87.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced commissioner of social services with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 46a-25 transferred to Sec. 17a-441 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 replaced reference to commissioners of human resources and aging with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-441 transferred to Sec. 17b-461 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-462. Cause of action by elderly victim. Civil attachment jurisdiction. (a) An elderly person who has been the victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, as such terms are defined in section 17b-450, may have a cause of action against any perpetrator and may recover actual and punitive damages for such abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee. The action may be brought by the elderly person, or the elderly person's guardian or conservator, by a person or organization acting on behalf of the elderly person with the consent of such elderly person or the elderly person's guardian or conservator, or by the personal representative of the estate of a deceased elderly victim.

(b) In any action to recover damages based upon a claim of exploitation, as defined in section 17b-450, the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to render an order pursuant to chapter 904 prohibiting the defendant from transferring, depleting or otherwise alienating or diminishing any funds, assets or property.

(c) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, no cause of action for neglect or abandonment may be brought against any person who has no contractual obligation to provide care to an elderly person unless such neglect was wilful or criminal.

(P.A. 15-236, S. 3.)

Sec. 17b-463. Mandatory training for financial agents in detecting fraud, exploitation and financial abuse of elderly persons. (a) For purposes of this section, “financial agent” means an officer or employee of a financial institution, as defined in section 32-350, who (1) has direct contact with an elderly person within the officer's or employee's scope of employment or professional practice, or (2) reviews or approves an elderly person's financial documents, records or transactions.

(b) A financial agent shall participate in mandatory training to detect potential fraud, exploitation and financial abuse of elderly persons, including utilizing the resources available on the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors portal established pursuant to section 17b-463a. All financial agents shall complete such training within six months from availability of training resources on the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors web portal, or within the first six months of their employment, if later.

(P.A. 15-236, S. 6; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 16-3, S. 155.)

History: May Sp. Sess. P.A. 16-3 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing “Commission on Aging” with “Commission on Women, Children and Seniors”, effective July 1, 2016.

Sec. 17b-463a. Forum, clearing house and portal for training resources re best practices for detecting fraud, exploitation and financial abuse. The Commission on Women, Children and Seniors shall establish a forum and clearing house for best practices and free training resources to help financial institutions and financial agents detect potential fraud, exploitation and financial abuse. Not later than January 1, 2017, the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors shall establish a single portal for training resources and materials.

(P.A. 15-236, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 16-3, S. 171.)

History: May Sp. Sess. P.A. 16-3 deleted former Subsecs. (a) and (b) re study and report re best practices for reporting and identification of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment of elderly persons, deleted Subsec. (c) designator, replaced “Commission on Aging” with “Commission on Women, Children and Seniors” and replaced “July 1, 2016” with “July 1, 2017”, effective July 1, 2016.

Sec. 17b-464. Petition for order to enter premises of elderly person. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services may petition the Probate Court for an order to enter the premises of an elderly person for purposes of an assessment when the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that the elderly person may be in need of protective services and is refused access by the elderly person or another individual.

(b) The commissioner shall document in the Department of Social Service's investigation file the factors considered when making the decision about whether to petition for an order to enter the premises.

(c) The commissioner shall state in the petition for an order to enter the premises that the order is being sought solely for the purpose of assessing whether the elderly person is in need of protective services and shall include, to the extent the facts can be ascertained with reasonable diligence, the following information:

(1) The name and address of the elderly person who may be in need of protective services and the premises on which this person may be found, if different;

(2) The reason for the belief that the elderly person may be in need of protective services, which may include information provided by other agencies or individuals who are familiar with the elderly person;

(3) The name and address, if known, of the individual or individuals who are responsible for preventing access to the elderly person;

(4) Previous efforts that have been made to enter the premises of the elderly person who may need protective services;

(5) The names of any individuals, such as the department's social worker, and any other health or mental health professionals, who may participate in the assessment of whether the elderly person needs protective services;

(6) The manner by which the assessment will be conducted; and

(7) Whether there has been a prior petition to the Probate Court to enter the premises of the elderly person, or for any similar relief, and, if so, the determination of such petition, and new facts, if any, that were not in the previous petition, which support submission of another petition.

(d) Any allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment that are not based on the commissioner's personal knowledge shall be based on the personal knowledge of the person reporting the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment or the personal knowledge of any other person who has information relating to the report. Whenever possible, the allegations that are not based on the commissioner's knowledge shall be supported by an affidavit under penalty of perjury of the person having such knowledge and shall be attached to the petition.

(e) If the Probate Court finds that (1) there is reasonable cause to believe that an elderly person is at risk of imminent physical or mental harm and may be found at the premises described in the petition, (2) such person may be in need of protective services, and (3) access to such person has been refused, the court shall grant the petition and issue an order, ex parte and without prior notice, authorizing the commissioner, accompanied by a police officer or other law enforcement official, and any other person the commissioner determines necessary to enter the premises to conduct an assessment to determine whether the elderly person named in the petition is in need of protective services. The ex parte order shall expire ten days after the order is issued.

(f) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize the commissioner to remove any person from the premises described in the petition, or to provide any involuntary protective services to any person, other than to assess an elderly person's need for protective services. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair any existing right or remedy under law for any person subject to the provisions of this section.

(P.A. 15-233, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 15-233 effective July 1, 2015.

Secs. 17b-465 to 17b-489. Reserved for future use.

Note: Chapter 319ee is also reserved for future use.