2009 Texas Code
CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE
TITLE 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 144. DESTRUCTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS  

CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE

TITLE 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 144. DESTRUCTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS

Sec. 144.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Former mental health patient" means an individual who:

(A) between January 1, 1986, and December 31, 1993, was admitted

to a mental health facility that has pled guilty, or whose parent

or affiliate corporation has so pled, to unlawfully conspiring to

offer and pay remuneration to any person to induce that person to

refer individuals for services to a mental health facility; and

(B) has been released from that mental health facility; but

(C) was not admitted to the facility on the basis of a court

proceeding that included a commitment hearing that was on the

record.

(2) "Record" means a medical record:

(A) that a federal statute or regulation does not require to be

retained, maintained, or preserved; or

(B) for which the requirement under a federal statute or

regulation to retain, maintain, or preserve the record has

expired.

(3) "Court" means a district or statutory probate court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.005. COURT RECORDS CONCERNING ORDER. The court shall

seal records concerning an order issued under this chapter and

ensure that the court's records are not open for inspection by

any person except the former mental patient or on further order

of the court after notice to the former mental patient and a

finding of good cause. The institution of a suit or bringing of a

claim by or on behalf of the former mental patient or the former

patient's assignee or insurer constitutes good cause.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.006. COLLATERAL EFFECTS OF ORDER. (a) A former mental

health patient who successfully petitions for an order under this

chapter and a facility or health care provider, or the owner,

operator, parent, or affiliate of a facility or health care

provider, that is subject to an order under this chapter may

deny:

(1) the existence of any record subject to the order;

(2) the existence of the order itself;

(3) the occurrence of the former mental patient's admission to a

mental health facility if the records of the admission are

subject to the order; and

(4) the occurrence of any treatment related to the admission if

the records of the admission are subject to the order.

(b) A former mental health patient who makes a denial under

Subsection (a) or a facility or health care provider, or the

owner, operator, parent, or affiliate of a facility or health

care provider, that is subject to an order under this chapter and

that makes a denial under Subsection (a) is not liable for a

civil or criminal penalty for perjury.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.007. LIMITATION ON CERTAIN LAWSUITS. (a) Except as

provided by Subsection (b), a former mental patient who

successfully petitions a court for an order under this chapter or

a person acting on the former mental patient's behalf may not

file an action against a facility or health care provider, or the

owner, operator, parent, or affiliate of a facility or health

care provider, related to an event or activity that formed the

basis of a record subject to the court's order.

(b) A juvenile former mental health patient whose records have

been sealed under this chapter may file an action or complaint at

any time before the records have been destroyed under Section

144.002(c).

(c) A finding made under this chapter is not admissible against

any party in litigation to establish liability for damages,

expenses, or other relief as an alleged result of any treatment

or admission.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.008. DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION SUBJECT TO ORDER;

PENALTY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) knows of a former mental patient's admission to a mental

health facility;

(2) knows of a court order issued under this chapter that

relates to that admission; and

(3) intentionally releases, disseminates, or publishes a record

or index reference subject to that order.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) knowingly fails to delete, seal, destroy, or present to the

court a record or index reference subject to an order issued

under this chapter; and

(2) knows or should know that the record or index reference is

subject to that order.

(c) An offense under this chapter is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) This chapter does not prohibit an attorney or insurer of a

provider or patient from retaining or communicating

confidentially about a privileged document as necessary to

provide legal advice regarding an actual or potential claim or

issue. The document or communication remains privileged and not

subject to a subpoena.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.009. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. This chapter

supersedes other state law regarding the retention or destruction

of patient records.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 144.010. EXPIRATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS. Sections

144.002, 144.003, and 144.004 expire January 1, 1999.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

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