Substitute Senate Bill No. 594

Public Act No. 00-166

An Act Concerning The Responsibilities Of The Office Of Protection And Advocacy For Persons With Disabilities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-694 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Upon such application for a determination of an individual's ability to give informed consent to sterilization being filed, the court shall appoint legal counsel to represent any respondent who has not selected a counsel to represent [him] such respondent in response to the application. Such legal counsel shall be from a panel of attorneys admitted to practice in this state provided by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with section 45a-77. In establishing such panel, the Probate Court Administrator shall seek recommendations from the Office of Protection and Advocacy, [of the Department of Consumer Protection,] which may be included in such panel. The reasonable compensation of an appointed legal counsel shall be established by the court. Such compensation shall be charged to the respondent provided, if the court finds such respondent is unable to pay such compensation, it shall be paid from [funds appropriated to the Department of Social Services] the Probate Court Administration Fund.

Sec. 2. Section 45a-695 of the general statutes, as amended by section 30 of public act 99-84, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

At any hearing upon such application, the court shall receive evidence concerning the respondent's ability to give informed consent. Such evidence shall include, but shall not be limited to, reports in writing signed under penalty of false statement from an interdisciplinary team of at least three impartial panel members appointed by the court from a panel of physicians, psychologists, educators, social and residential workers [provided by the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities] who have personally observed, examined or worked with such respondent at some time during the twelve months preceding such hearing. Such appointments shall be made in accordance with regulations to be promulgated by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with section 45a-77. The reasonable compensation of such appointed panel members shall be established by the court. Such compensation shall be charged to the respondent provided, if the court finds such respondent is unable to pay such compensation, it shall be paid from [funds appropriated to said advocacy office] the Probate Court Administration Fund. Each such appointed panel member shall make his or her written report under penalty of false statement on a separate form provided for that purpose by [said advocacy office] the court and shall answer such questions as may be set forth on such form as fully and completely as reasonably possible. The reports shall contain specific information regarding the respondent's ability to give informed consent and shall indicate the specific aspects of informed consent which the respondent lacks. Each such appointed panel member shall state upon the forms the reasons for his or her opinion. Such respondent or his or her counsel shall have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses who testify at any hearing on the application. If such respondent or his or her counsel notifies the court not less than three days before the hearing that he or she wishes to cross-examine the appointed panel members, the court shall order such members to appear.

Approved May 26, 2000