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House Bill No. 5727

Public Act No. 13-130

AN ACT CONCERNING THE TIME FOR PARENTAL NOTIFICATION WHEN A CHILD IS ADMITTED TO A HOSPITAL FOR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OF A MENTAL DISORDER.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-79 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any hospital may admit any child for diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder upon the written request of the child's parent. A child fourteen years of age or over may be admitted under this section without consent of his or her parents if such child consents in writing, provided that the parents of such child, if any, shall be notified [within five days of] not later than twenty-four hours after such admission that such child has been hospitalized under the provisions of this subsection. If the whereabouts of such parents are unknown, then such child's nearest relative shall be so notified. In the event that a child's parent or guardian requests in writing release of such child, or in the event a child age fourteen or older who has been admitted with his or her written consent requests in writing his or her release, the hospital shall release such child or commence commitment proceedings in accordance with sections 17a-76 and 17a-77 and the hospital may detain the child for five business days, in order to allow an application to be filed. In the event such an application is filed, such hospitalization shall be continued for an additional period of time to allow such application to be heard, but in no event shall such hospitalization continue for more than fifteen days, or twenty-five days, if the matter has been transferred to the Superior Court, beyond the receipt of such application by the court.

(b) No child in the custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families shall be admitted for diagnosis or treatment except in accordance with sections 17a-76 to 17a-78, inclusive, unless (1) the commissioner requests such admission, (2) legal counsel appointed by the superior court for juvenile matters or court of probate in accordance with section 17a-76 agrees, in writing, to such admission, and (3) the child, if fourteen years of age or over consents to such admission. The parents or guardian of the person of such child, if any, shall be notified [within five days of] not later than twenty-four hours after such admission that such child has been hospitalized under the provisions of this section. If the whereabouts of such parents or guardian of the person is unknown, then the nearest relative of such child shall be notified. In the event either parent or the guardian of the person of the child requests in writing the release of such child, the hospital shall release such child, unless the Commissioner of Children and Families commences commitment proceedings in accordance with sections 17a-76 and 17a-77. The hospital may detain the child for five business days after receipt of the written request in order to allow an application to be filed. If an application is filed, hospitalization shall be continued for an additional period of time to allow the application to be heard, but in no event shall hospitalization continue for more than fifteen days, or twenty-five days, if the matter has been transferred to the Superior Court, beyond the receipt of such application by the court.

Approved June 18, 2013