HOUSE BILL NO. 147
AS AMENDED BY
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 39, TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend 3908, Chapter 39, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (I) thereto as follows:
"(1) Whenever the Court of Chancery finds, based upon a verified petition, affidavit or other evidentiary materials, that probable cause exists to believe that: (1) a person is infirm or incapacitated, as defined in subdivisions (1) and (6) of 3902 of this title; (2) that an emergency exists, as defined in subdivision (10) of 3902 of this title; (3) that the emergency threatens serious harm to such person which harm may occur before a hearing on the petition for an emergency order may be held; (4) that the person Is located in the building or premises described and; (5) that entry or access to said building or premises is being denied, the Court may issue an Order for Entry. The Order for Entry shall be signed by the Court, and shall contain the address of the building or premises where the person Is located and the name of the person reported to be In need of protective services. The Order for Entry shall command that entry to the building or premises where the person is located be permitted for the purpose of seeing or interviewing, assessing and counseling the person named in the Order. The Order for Entry shall permit entry on a day certain, which shall be set forth in the Order. Nothing contained In this subsection shall in any way be construed to limit or restrict entry where the consent of the owner, lessor or lawful occupant is obtained. Whenever a member of the Court of Chancery Is unavailable, any Judge of the Superior Court may exercise the powers conferred by this subsection."
Section 2. Amend Chapter 39, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section to read as follows:
"3912. Confidentiality of records.
(a) All records and information in the possession of Adult Protective Services or anyone providing service to an Adult Protective Services client and his or her relatives shall be deemed confidential, and shall be disclosed only pursuant to an appropriate court order, or pursuant to the consent of the recipient of the services, where the recipient Is legally competent to so consent. Notwithstanding the foregoing, disclosure shall not be unlawful when necessary for purposes directly connected with the administration of adult protective services, or when the identity of the recipient or recipients of such services is not revealed by the disclosure, such as in the case of disclosure of statistics or other such summary information.
(b) Violation of this section is a unclassified misdemeanor. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over violations of this section.
(c) Any staff person of Adult Protective Services or anyone providing service to an Adult Protective Services client who violates these provisions and improperly discloses confidential Information shall immediately be removed or dismissed."
Approved March 29, 1990.