CHAPTER 386

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 385

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REVIEW OF CHILD DEATHS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend Title 31, Section 323 of the Delaware Code by striking the last sentence of subsection (a) and adding three new sentences to the end of subsection (a), which shall read as follows:

“Systemwide recommendations arising from an investigation and review conducted pursuant to subsection (d) shall be made to the Governor and General Assembly, as well as any members of the public requesting the recommendations, within 20 days of the completion of such investigation and review. All recommendations made pursuant to this subsection shall comply with applicable state and federal confidentiality provisions, including but not limited to those enumerated in Section 324 of this Title and 29 Del.C. § 9017(d). Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter to the contrary, such recommendation shall not specifically identify any individual or any non-governmental agency, organization or entity."

Section 2. Amend Title 31, Section 323 of the Delaware Code by adding new subsection (d) which shall read as follows:

“(d) Notwithstanding the above, the Commission shall investigate and review the facts and circumstances of the death of an abused and/or neglected child within three months of a report to the Commission by the Attorney General, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, or other state agency that the deceased child was the victim of abuse or neglect. The Attorney General, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, and any other state or local agency with responsibility for investigating child deaths shall report to the Commission any death of a child who is determined to have been abused and/or neglected within 14 days of that determination.”

Section 3. Amend Title 31, Section 324(a) of the Delaware Code by deleting the word “herein” in the first sentence of that subsection and replacing it with “in Chapter 3, Subchapter II of this Title.”

Section 4. Amend Title 31, Section 324(a) of the Delaware Code by adding a sentence preceding the final sentence of subsection (a), which shall read as follows:

“Subject to constitutional requirements, statements, records or information shall not be subject to any statute or rule that would require those statements to be disclosed in the course of a criminal trial or associated discovery.”

Section 5. The provisions of this Act shall be applicable to child deaths occurring subsequent to April 1, 2001, provided that the deadlines enumerated in Sections 1 and 2 of this Act shall be considered tolled until enactment of this Act with respect to child deaths occurring prior to enactment.

Section 6. Amend Title 31, Section 323 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection "(e)" thereto, to read as follows:

"(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter to the contrary, no person identified by the Attorney General's office as a potential witness in any criminal prosecution arising from the death of an abused or neglected child shall be questioned, deposed or interviewed by or for the Commission in connection with its investigation and review of such death until the completion of such prosecution."

Approved July 09, 2002