2019 Arkansas Code
Title 12 - Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and Military Affairs
Subtitle 2 - Law Enforcement Agencies and Programs
Chapter 18 - Child Maltreatment Act
Subchapter 7 - Investigative Findings
§ 12-18-710. Release of Information on True Investigative Determination Pending Due Process
(a) Information on a completed true investigation pending due process as referenced in this chapter is confidential and may be disclosed only as provided in this chapter.
(1) The Department of Human Services shall not release data that would identify the person who made the report unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders release of the information after the court has reviewed in camera the record related to the report and has found it has reason to believe that the reporter knowingly made a false report.
(2) However, upon request, the information shall be disclosed to the prosecuting attorney or law enforcement.
(1) Any person or agency to whom disclosure is made shall not disclose to any other person any information obtained pursuant to this section.
(2) However, the person or agency is permitted to consult his or her or its own attorney regarding the information in any notice provided by the department.
(d) The department may provide information, including protected health information, to a person or agency that provides services such as medical examination of, an assessment interview with, or diagnosis of, care for, treatment of, or supervision of a victim of maltreatment, a juvenile offender, or an underaged juvenile offender.
(e) Information on a completed investigation, including protected health information, pending due process shall be released upon request to:
(1) The alleged offender;
(2) The department, excluding pending investigations on an employee or spouse of the Division of Children and Family Services;
(3) Law enforcement;
(4) The prosecuting attorney;
(5) The responsible multidisciplinary team;
(6) The attorney ad litem for the victim or offender;
(7) A court-appointed special advocate volunteer for the victim or offender;
(8) Any licensing or registering authority to the extent necessary to carry out its official responsibilities;
(9) Any department division director or facility director receiving notice of a Child Abuse Hotline report under this chapter;
(10) Any facility director receiving notice of a Child Abuse Hotline report under this chapter;
(11) Any family advocacy program or other person designated by the military authority for the military installation receiving notice of a Child Abuse Hotline report under § 12-18-508;
(A) Federal, state, and local government entities, or any agent of such entities, that have a need for such information to carry out their responsibilities under law to protect children from child maltreatment.
(B) Acting in their official capacities under law to protect children, disclosure may be made to individual United States and Arkansas senators and representatives and their authorized staff members, but only if they agree not to permit any redisclosure of the information except for a legitimate state purpose to protect children from child maltreatment.
(C) However, disclosure shall not be made to any committee or legislative body;
(13) The attorney ad litem and court-appointed special advocate of a juvenile who has an open dependency-neglect case, if the alleged offender or the minor victim resides in the home or in the proposed placement location for the juvenile that is not a licensed foster home, adoptive home, shelter, or facility; and
(14) A Child Welfare Ombudsman.
(f) Information on a true investigative determination, including protected health information, may be released to or disclosed in a circuit court child custody case or similar case if:
(1) No seventy-two-hour hold has been exercised under this chapter or pleadings filed pursuant to the Arkansas Juvenile Code of 1989, § 9-27-301 et seq.;
(2) Written notice of intent to request release or disclosure is provided to the investigating agency at least five (5) days before the date for release or disclosure;
(3) The investigating agency has the opportunity to appear before the court and be heard on the issue of release or disclosure;
(4) The information gathered by the investigative agency is necessary for the determination of an issue before the court;
(5) Waiting until completion of due process will jeopardize the health or safety of the child in the custody case;
(6) A protective order is issued to prevent redisclosure of the information provided by the investigating agency or the information is released or disclosed only to the court in camera; and
(7) Release or disclosure of the information will not compromise a criminal investigation.
(g) Information on a true investigative determination, including protected health information, may be released to or disclosed in the circuit court if the victim or offender has an open dependency-neglect or family in need of services case before the circuit court.