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1987 Minnesota Session Laws

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 211-H.F.No. 200 
           An act relating to abuse and neglect reporting; 
          providing a standard for the disclosure of a 
          reporter's name under the child abuse reporting act 
          and the vulnerable adults reporting act; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 626.556, subdivision 
          11; and 626.557, subdivision 12. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.556, 
subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 11.  [RECORDS.] All records concerning individuals 
maintained by a local welfare agency under this section, 
including any written reports filed under subdivision 7, shall 
be private data on individuals, except insofar as copies of 
reports are required by subdivision 7 to be sent to the local 
police department or the county sheriff, and except as otherwise 
provided in subdivisions 10b and 10d.  Report records maintained 
by any police department or the county sheriff shall be private 
data on individuals except the reports shall be made available 
to the investigating, petitioning, or prosecuting authority.  
The welfare board shall make available to the investigating, 
petitioning, or prosecuting authority any records which contain 
information relating to a specific incident of neglect or abuse 
which is under investigation, petition, or prosecution and 
information relating to any prior incidents of neglect or abuse 
involving any of the same persons.  The records shall be 
collected and maintained in accordance with the provisions of 
chapter 13.  In conducting investigations and assessments 
pursuant to this section, the notice required by section 13.04, 
subdivision 2, need not be provided to a minor under the age of 
ten who is the alleged victim of abuse or neglect.  An 
individual subject of a record shall have access to the record 
in accordance with those sections, except that the name of the 
reporter shall be confidential while the report is under 
assessment or investigation except as otherwise permitted by 
this subdivision.  Any person conducting an investigation or 
assessment under this section who intentionally discloses the 
identity of a reporter prior to the completion of the 
investigation or assessment is guilty of a misdemeanor.  After 
the assessment or investigation is completed, the name of the 
reporter shall be confidential but shall be accessible to the 
individual subject of the record upon court order.  The subject 
of the report may compel disclosure of the name of the reporter 
only with the consent of the reporter or upon a written finding 
by the court that the report was false and that there is 
evidence that the report was made in bad faith.  This 
subdivision does not alter disclosure responsibilities or 
obligations under the rules of criminal procedure. 
    Notwithstanding sections 138.163 and 138.17, records 
maintained by local welfare agencies, the police department or 
county sheriff under this section shall be destroyed as 
described in clauses (a) to (d): 
    (a) If upon assessment or investigation a report is found 
to be false, notice of intent to destroy records of the report 
shall be mailed to the individual subject of the report.  At the 
subject's request the records shall be maintained as private 
data.  If no request from the subject is received within 30 days 
of mailing the notice of intent to destroy, the records shall be 
destroyed. 
    (b) All records relating to reports which, upon assessment 
or investigation, are found to be substantiated shall be 
destroyed seven years after the date of the final entry in the 
case record. 
    (c) All records of reports which, upon initial assessment 
or investigation, cannot be substantiated or disproved to the 
satisfaction of the local welfare agency, local police 
department or county sheriff may be kept for a period of one 
year.  If the local welfare agency, local police department or 
county sheriff is unable to substantiate the report within that 
period, each agency unable to substantiate the report shall 
destroy its records relating to the report in the manner 
provided by clause (a). 
     (d) Any notification of intent to interview which was 
received by a school under subdivision 10, paragraph (c), shall 
be destroyed by the school when ordered to do so by the agency 
conducting the assessment or investigation.  The agency shall 
order the destruction of the notification when other records 
relating to the report under investigation or assessment are 
destroyed under this subdivision. 
      Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.557, 
subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 12.  [RECORDS.] (a) Each licensing agency shall 
maintain summary records of reports of alleged abuse or neglect 
and alleged violations of the requirements of this section with 
respect to facilities or persons licensed or credentialed by 
that agency.  As part of these records, the agency shall prepare 
an investigation memorandum.  Notwithstanding section 13.46, 
subdivision 3, the investigation memorandum shall be accessible 
to the public pursuant to section 13.03 and a copy shall be 
provided to any public agency which referred the matter to the 
licensing agency for investigation.  It shall contain a complete 
review of the agency's investigation, including but not limited 
to:  the name of any facility investigated; a statement of the 
nature of the alleged abuse or neglect or other violation of the 
requirements of this section; pertinent information obtained 
from medical or other records reviewed; the investigator's name; 
a summary of the investigation's findings; a statement of 
whether the report was found to be substantiated, inconclusive, 
or false; and a statement of any action taken by the agency.  
The investigation memorandum shall be written in a manner which 
protects the identity of the reporter and of the vulnerable 
adult and may not contain the name or, to the extent possible, 
the identity of the alleged perpetrator or of those interviewed 
during the investigation.  During the licensing agency's 
investigation, all data collected pursuant to this section shall 
be classified as investigative data pursuant to section 13.39.  
After the licensing agency's investigation is complete, the data 
on individuals collected and maintained shall be private data on 
individuals.  All data collected pursuant to this section shall 
be made available to prosecuting authorities and law enforcement 
officials, local welfare agencies, and licensing agencies 
investigating the alleged abuse or neglect.  Notwithstanding any 
law to the contrary, the name of the reporter shall be disclosed 
only upon a finding by the court that the report was false and 
made in bad faith.  The subject of the report may compel 
disclosure of the name of the reporter only with the consent of 
the reporter or upon a written finding by the court that the 
report was false and that there is evidence that the report was 
made in bad faith.  This subdivision does not alter disclosure 
responsibilities or obligations under the rules of criminal 
procedure.  
    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 138.163:  
    (1) all data maintained by licensing agencies, treatment 
facilities, or other public agencies which relate to reports 
which, upon investigation, are found to be false may be 
destroyed two years after the finding was made;  
    (2) all data maintained by licensing agencies, treatment 
facilities, or other public agencies which relate to reports 
which, upon investigation, are found to be inconclusive may be 
destroyed four years after the finding was made;  
    (3) all data maintained by licensing agencies, treatment 
facilities, or other public agencies which relate to reports 
which, upon investigation, are found to be substantiated may be 
destroyed seven years after the finding was made. 
    Approved May 26, 1987

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