2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1507 - Investigation of reports, assessment, actions taken, and court orders
§1507. Investigation of reports, assessment, actions taken, and court orders
A. The adult protection agency shall make prompt investigation and assessment. When the report concerns care in a facility or program under the supervision of the Louisiana Department of Health, the secretary of the department may assign the duties and powers enumerated in Subsection B of this Section to any office or entity within the department to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.
B. The investigation and assessment shall include the nature, extent, and cause of the abuse and neglect, the identity of the person or persons responsible for the abuse and neglect, if known, and an interview with the adult and a visit to the adult's home, if possible. Consultation with others having knowledge of the facts of the particular case shall also be included in the investigation.
C. In the event that admission to the adult's home or access to the adult for purposes of conducting the investigation, including a face-to-face private interview with the adult and with other members of the household and inspection of the home is refused, the adult protection agency may apply to a court of competent civil jurisdiction for an order to be granted access to the adult and to the location where the alleged abuse or neglect occurred to make such an investigation.
D. To secure further information and coordinate community service efforts, the adult protection agency shall contact other appropriate local or state agencies.
E. The adult protection agencies shall convene a regional level coordinating council composed of representatives of both public and private agencies providing services, with the objectives of identifying resources, increasing needed supportive services, avoiding duplication of effort, and assuring maximum community coordination of effort.
F. If it appears after investigation that an adult has been abused and neglected by other parties and that the problem cannot be remedied by extrajudicial means, the adult protection agency may refer the matter to the appropriate district attorney's office or may initiate judicial proceedings as provided in R.S. 15:1508. Evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred must be presented together with an account of the protective services given or available to the adult and a recommendation as to what services, if ordered, would eliminate the abuse or neglect.
G. Protective services may not be provided in cases of self-neglect to any adult having the capacity to consent, who does not consent to such service or who, having consented, withdraws such consent. Nothing herein shall prohibit the adult protection agency, the district attorney, the coroner, or the judge from petitioning for interdiction pursuant to Civil Code Articles 389 through 399 or petitioning for an order for protective custody or for judicial commitment pursuant to R.S. 28:50 et seq., seeking an order for emergency protective services pursuant to R.S. 15:1511, or from seeking an order for involuntary protective services pursuant to R.S. 15:1508(B)(5).
H.(1) The adult protection agency shall have access to any records or documents, including client-identifying information and medical, psychological, criminal or financial records necessary to the performance of the agency's duties under this Chapter. The duties include the provision of protective services to an adult, or the investigation of abuse, neglect, exploitation or extortion of an adult. A person or agency that has a record or document that the adult protection agency needs to perform its duties under this Chapter shall, without unnecessary delay, make the record or document available to the agency.
(2) The adult protection agency is exempt from the payment of a fee otherwise required or authorized by law to obtain a record if the request for a record is made in the course of an investigation or in the provision of protective services by the agency.
(3) If the adult protection agency is unable to obtain access to a record or document that is necessary to properly conduct an investigation or to provide protective services, the agency may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for access to the record or document. The person or agency in possession of this necessary record or document and the patient, in the case of a medical record, is entitled to notice and a hearing on the petition.
(4) Upon a showing by the adult protection agency that the record or document is necessary, the court shall order the person or agency who denied access to a record or document to allow the adult protection agency to have access under the terms and conditions prescribed by the court.
(5) Access to a confidential record under this Chapter does not constitute a waiver of confidentiality. No cause of action shall exist against any person or agency who in good faith provides a record or document to the adult protection agency under the provisions of this Chapter.
I.(1) Information contained in the case records of the adult protection agency shall be confidential and shall not be released without a handwritten authorization from the adult or his legal representative, except that the information may be released to law enforcement agencies pursuing enforcement of criminal statutes related to the abuse of the adult or the filing of false reports of abuse or neglect, or to social service agencies, licensed health care providers, and appropriate local or state agencies where indicated for the purpose of coordinating the provision of services or treatment necessary to reduce the risk to the adult from abuse, neglect, exploitation, or extortion and to state regulatory agencies for the purpose of enforcing federal or state laws and regulations relating to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or extortion by persons compensated through state or federal funds.
(2) The identity of any person who in good faith makes a report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or extortion shall be confidential and shall not be released without the handwritten authorization of the person making the report, except that the information may be released to law enforcement agencies pursuing enforcement of criminal statutes related to the abuse of the adult or to the filing of false reports of abuse or neglect.
(3) Prior to releasing any information, except information released to law enforcement agencies as provided herein, the adult protection agency shall edit the released information to protect the confidentiality of the reporter's identity and to protect any other individual whose safety or welfare may be endangered by disclosure.
Acts 2008, No. 181, §2, eff. June 13, 2008.