2018 New York Laws
MHY - Mental Hygiene
Title E - General Provisions
Article 47 - Mental Hygiene Legal Service
47.03 - Functions, Powers and Duties of the Service.

§ 47.03 Functions, powers and duties of the service.

The mental hygiene legal service in each judicial department of the state shall perform the following duties:

(a) To study and review the admission and retention of all patients or residents which shall include a review of the willingness of the patient or resident to remain in his or her status and the determination of the facility director as to suitability of such status, as provided for by this chapter;

(b) To inform patients or residents and, in proper cases, others interested in such persons' welfare of procedures for admission and retention and of the patients' or residents' right to have judicial hearing and review, to be represented by legal counsel, and to seek independent medical opinion;

* (c) To provide legal services and assistance to patients or residents and their families related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such persons, to provide legal services and assistance to subjects of a petition or patients subject to section 9.60 of this chapter, and to inform patients or residents, their families and, in proper cases, others interested in the patients' or residents' welfare of the availability of other legal resources which may be of assistance in matters not directly related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such patients or residents;

* NB Effective until June 30, 2022

* (c) To provide legal services and assistance to patients or residents and their families related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such persons, and to inform patients or residents, their families and, in proper cases, others interested in the patients' or residents' welfare of the availability of other legal resources which may be of assistance in matters not directly related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such patients or residents;

* NB Effective June 30, 2022

(d) To be granted access at any and all times to any facility or place or part thereof described in subdivision (a) of section 47.01 of this article, and to all books, records and data pertaining to any such facility or place deemed necessary for carrying out its functions, powers and duties. The mental hygiene legal service may require from the officers or employees of such facility or place any information deemed necessary for the purpose of carrying out the service's functions, powers and duties. Information, books, records or data which are confidential and any limitations on the release thereof imposed by law upon the party furnishing the information, books, records or data shall apply to the service. Provided, however, whenever federal regulations restrict, or as a condition of federal aid require that a facility restrict the release of information contained in the clinical record of a patient or client, or restrict disclosure of the identity of a patient or access to that patient, to a greater extent than is allowed under this section, the provisions of such federal law or federal regulation shall be controlling;

(e) To initiate and take any legal action deemed necessary to safeguard the right of any patient or resident to protection from abuse or mistreatment, which may include investigation into any such allegations of abuse or mistreatment of any such patient or resident; and

(f) To provide legal services and assistance in accordance with article ten of this chapter.


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