Substitute Senate Bill No. 90

Public Act No. 00-22

An Act Concerning The Confidentiality Of Probate Court Proceedings Involving Individuals With Mental Retardation.

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

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 17a-274 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Application to the Probate Court for placement under this section may be made by any interested party. The application and all records of probate court proceedings held as a result of the filing of such application, except for the name of any guardian of the respondent, shall be sealed and shall be made available only to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or the commissioner's designee, unless the Probate Court, after hearing held with notice to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, determines that such application and records should be disclosed for cause shown. The application shall allege that the respondent is [mentally retarded] a person with mental retardation and (1) is unable to provide for himself at least one of the following: Education, habilitation, care for personal health and mental health needs, meals, clothing, safe shelter or protection from harm; (2) has no family or guardian to care for [him] the respondent or [his] the respondent's family or guardian can no longer provide adequate care for [him] the respondent; (3) is unable to obtain adequate, appropriate services which would enable [him] the respondent to receive care, treatment and education or habilitation without placement by a court of probate; and (4) is not willing to be placed under the custody and control of the Department of Mental Retardation or its agents or voluntary admission has been sought by the guardian or limited guardian of [such person] the respondent appointed pursuant to chapter 779a or the provisions of sections 45a-711 to 45a-725, inclusive, and such voluntary admission has been opposed by the ward or [his] the ward's next of kin.

Sec. 2. Section 45a-670 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

An application for guardianship may be filed by the court on its own motion or by any adult person. The application and all records of probate court proceedings held as a result of the filing of such application, except for the name of any guardian of the respondent, shall be sealed and shall be made available only to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or the commissioner's designee, unless the Probate Court, after hearing held with notice to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, determines that such application and records should be disclosed for cause shown. An application filed by the court on its own motion shall contain a statement of the facts on which the court bases its motion, and such statement of facts shall be included in any notice to the respondent. Any other application filed shall allege that a respondent, by reason of the severity of [his] the respondent's mental retardation is unable to meet essential requirements for [his] the respondent's physical health and safety and unable to make informed decisions about matters relating to [his] the respondent's care. Such application shall be filed in the court of probate in the district in which the respondent resides or [has his domicile] is domiciled. Such application shall state: (1) Whether there is, in any jurisdiction, a guardian, limited guardian, or conservator for the respondent; (2) the extent of the respondent's inability to meet essential requirements for [his] the respondent's physical health or safety, and the extent of the respondent's inability to make informed decisions about matters related to [his] the respondent's care; (3) any other facts upon which guardianship is sought; and (4) in the case of a limited guardianship, the specific areas of protection and assistance required for the respondent.

Sec. 3. Section 45a-692 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

An application for a determination of a person's ability to give informed consent to a sterilization procedure may be filed by the person seeking sterilization, the attending physician of the person seeking sterilization, by the director of the institution, or by an interested party and shall state the reason for seeking such determination. Such application shall be filed in the court of probate in the district in which the respondent resides or [has his domicile] is domiciled. The application and all records of probate court proceedings held as a result of the filing of such application, except for the name of any guardian of the respondent, shall be sealed and shall be made available only to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or the commissioner's designee, unless the Probate Court, after hearing held with notice to the respondent or the respondent's counsel or guardian, and to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, determines that such application and records should be disclosed for cause shown.