626.557 REPORTING OF MALTREATMENT OF VULNERABLE ADULTS.
Subdivision 1. Public policy.
The legislature declares that the public policy of this state is
to protect adults who, because of physical or mental disability or dependency on institutional
services, are particularly vulnerable to maltreatment; to assist in providing safe environments
for vulnerable adults; and to provide safe institutional or residential services, community-based
services, or living environments for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated.
In addition, it is the policy of this state to require the reporting of suspected maltreatment of
vulnerable adults, to provide for the voluntary reporting of maltreatment of vulnerable adults,
to require the investigation of the reports, and to provide protective and counseling services
in appropriate cases.
Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 3. Timing of report.
(a) A mandated reporter who has reason to believe that a
vulnerable adult is being or has been maltreated, or who has knowledge that a vulnerable adult
has sustained a physical injury which is not reasonably explained shall immediately report the
information to the common entry point. If an individual is a vulnerable adult solely because
the individual is admitted to a facility, a mandated reporter is not required to report suspected
maltreatment of the individual that occurred prior to admission, unless:
(1) the individual was admitted to the facility from another facility and the reporter has
reason to believe the vulnerable adult was maltreated in the previous facility; or
(2) the reporter knows or has reason to believe that the individual is a vulnerable adult as
defined in section
626.5572, subdivision 21
, clause (4).
(b) A person not required to report under the provisions of this section may voluntarily
report as described above.
(c) Nothing in this section requires a report of known or suspected maltreatment, if the
reporter knows or has reason to know that a report has been made to the common entry point.
(d) Nothing in this section shall preclude a reporter from also reporting to a law enforcement
(e) A mandated reporter who knows or has reason to believe that an error under section
626.5572, subdivision 17
, paragraph (c), clause (5), occurred must make a report under this
subdivision. If the reporter or a facility, at any time believes that an investigation by a lead agency
will determine or should determine that the reported error was not neglect according to the criteria
626.5572, subdivision 17
, paragraph (c), clause (5), the reporter or facility may
provide to the common entry point or directly to the lead agency information explaining how
the event meets the criteria under section
626.5572, subdivision 17
, paragraph (c), clause (5).
The lead agency shall consider this information when making an initial disposition of the report
under subdivision 9c.
Subd. 3a. Report not required.
The following events are not required to be reported under
(a) A circumstance where federal law specifically prohibits a person from disclosing patient
identifying information in connection with a report of suspected maltreatment, unless the
vulnerable adult, or the vulnerable adult's guardian, conservator, or legal representative, has
consented to disclosure in a manner which conforms to federal requirements. Facilities whose
patients or residents are covered by such a federal law shall seek consent to the disclosure
of suspected maltreatment from each patient or resident, or a guardian, conservator, or legal
representative, upon the patient's or resident's admission to the facility. Persons who are prohibited
by federal law from reporting an incident of suspected maltreatment shall immediately seek
consent to make a report.
(b) Verbal or physical aggression occurring between patients, residents, or clients of a
facility, or self-abusive behavior by these persons does not constitute abuse unless the behavior
causes serious harm. The operator of the facility or a designee shall record incidents of aggression
and self-abusive behavior to facilitate review by licensing agencies and county and local welfare
(c) Accidents as defined in section
626.5572, subdivision 3
(d) Events occurring in a facility that result from an individual's error in the provision of
therapeutic conduct to a vulnerable adult, as provided in section
626.5572, subdivision 17
paragraph (c), clause (4).
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a report of financial exploitation, as
defined in section
626.5572, subdivision 9
, solely on the basis of the transfer of money or property
by gift or as compensation for services rendered.
Subd. 4. Reporting.
A mandated reporter shall immediately make an oral report to the
common entry point. Use of a telecommunications device for the deaf or other similar device
shall be considered an oral report. The common entry point may not require written reports.
To the extent possible, the report must be of sufficient content to identify the vulnerable adult,
the caregiver, the nature and extent of the suspected maltreatment, any evidence of previous
maltreatment, the name and address of the reporter, the time, date, and location of the incident,
and any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful in investigating the
suspected maltreatment. A mandated reporter may disclose not public data, as defined in section
, and medical records under sections
to 144.298, to the extent necessary to comply
with this subdivision.
Subd. 4a. Internal reporting of maltreatment.
(a) Each facility shall establish and
enforce an ongoing written procedure in compliance with applicable licensing rules to ensure
that all cases of suspected maltreatment are reported. If a facility has an internal reporting
procedure, a mandated reporter may meet the reporting requirements of this section by reporting
internally. However, the facility remains responsible for complying with the immediate reporting
requirements of this section.
(b) A facility with an internal reporting procedure that receives an internal report by a
mandated reporter shall give the mandated reporter a written notice stating whether the facility
has reported the incident to the common entry point. The written notice must be provided within
two working days and in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the reporter.
(c) The written response to the mandated reporter shall note that if the mandated reporter is
not satisfied with the action taken by the facility on whether to report the incident to the common
entry point, then the mandated reporter may report externally.
(d) A facility may not prohibit a mandated reporter from reporting externally, and a facility is
prohibited from retaliating against a mandated reporter who reports an incident to the common
entry point in good faith. The written notice by the facility must inform the mandated reporter
of this protection from retaliatory measures by the facility against the mandated reporter for
Subd. 5. Immunity; protection for reporters.
(a) A person who makes a good faith report is
immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result from making the report, or
from participating in the investigation, or for failure to comply fully with the reporting obligation
626.557, subdivision 7
(b) A person employed by a lead agency or a state licensing agency who is conducting or
supervising an investigation or enforcing the law in compliance with this section or any related
rule or provision of law is immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result
from the person's actions, if the person is acting in good faith and exercising due care.
(c) A person who knows or has reason to know a report has been made to a common entry
point and who in good faith participates in an investigation of alleged maltreatment is immune
from civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result from making the report, or from failure
to comply with the reporting obligation or from participating in the investigation.
(d) The identity of any reporter may not be disclosed, except as provided in subdivision 12b.
Subd. 6. Falsified reports.
A person or facility who intentionally makes a false report under
the provisions of this section shall be liable in a civil suit for any actual damages suffered by the
reported facility, person or persons and for punitive damages up to $10,000 and attorney's fees.
Subd. 7. Failure to report.
A mandated reporter who negligently or intentionally fails to
report is liable for damages caused by the failure. Nothing in this subdivision imposes vicarious
liability for the acts or omissions of others.
Subd. 8. Evidence not privileged.
No evidence regarding the maltreatment of the vulnerable
adult shall be excluded in any proceeding arising out of the alleged maltreatment on the grounds
of lack of competency under section
Subd. 9. Common entry point designation.
(a) Each county board shall designate a
common entry point for reports of suspected maltreatment. Two or more county boards may
jointly designate a single common entry point.
The common entry point is the unit responsible for receiving the report of suspected
maltreatment under this section.
(b) The common entry point must be available 24 hours per day to take calls from reporters
of suspected maltreatment.
The common entry point shall use a standard intake form that includes:
(1) the time and date of the report;
(2) the name, address, and telephone number of the person reporting;
(3) the time, date, and location of the incident;
(4) the names of the persons involved, including but not limited to, perpetrators, alleged
victims, and witnesses;
(5) whether there was a risk of imminent danger to the alleged victim;
(6) a description of the suspected maltreatment;
(7) the disability, if any, of the alleged victim;
(8) the relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the alleged victim;
(9) whether a facility was involved and, if so, which agency licenses the facility;
(10) any action taken by the common entry point;
(11) whether law enforcement has been notified;
(12) whether the reporter wishes to receive notification of the initial and final reports; and
(13) if the report is from a facility with an internal reporting procedure, the name, mailing
address, and telephone number of the person who initiated the report internally.
(c) The common entry point is not required to complete each item on the form prior to
dispatching the report to the appropriate investigative agency.
(d) The common entry point shall immediately report to a law enforcement agency any
incident in which there is reason to believe a crime has been committed.
(e) If a report is initially made to a law enforcement agency or a lead agency, those agencies
shall take the report on the appropriate common entry point intake forms and immediately forward
a copy to the common entry point.
(f) The common entry point staff must receive training on how to screen and dispatch reports
efficiently and in accordance with this section.
(g) When a centralized database is available, the common entry point has access to the
centralized database and must log the reports in on the database.
Subd. 9a. Evaluation and referral of reports made to a common entry point unit.
common entry point must screen the reports of alleged or suspected maltreatment for immediate
risk and make all necessary referrals as follows:
(1) if the common entry point determines that there is an immediate need for adult protective
services, the common entry point agency shall immediately notify the appropriate county agency;
(2) if the report contains suspected criminal activity against a vulnerable adult, the common
entry point shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency;
(3) if the report references alleged or suspected maltreatment and there is no immediate need
for adult protective services, the common entry point shall notify the appropriate lead agency as
soon as possible, but in any event no longer than two working days;
(4) if the report does not reference alleged or suspected maltreatment, the common entry
point may determine whether the information will be referred; and
(5) if the report contains information about a suspicious death, the common entry point shall
immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies, the local medical examiner, and the
ombudsman established under section
. Law enforcement agencies shall coordinate with
the local medical examiner and the ombudsman as provided by law.
Subd. 9b. Response to reports.
Law enforcement is the primary agency to conduct
investigations of any incident in which there is reason to believe a crime has been committed.
Law enforcement shall initiate a response immediately. If the common entry point notified a
county agency for adult protective services, law enforcement shall cooperate with that county
agency when both agencies are involved and shall exchange data to the extent authorized in
subdivision 12b, paragraph (g). County adult protection shall initiate a response immediately.
Each lead agency shall complete the investigative process for reports within its jurisdiction. Any
other lead agency, county, adult protective agency, licensed facility, or law enforcement agency
shall cooperate and may assist another agency upon request within the limits of its resources and
expertise and shall exchange data to the extent authorized in subdivision 12b, paragraph (g).
The lead agency shall obtain the results of any investigation conducted by law enforcement
officials. The lead agency has the right to enter facilities and inspect and copy records as part
of investigations. The lead agency has access to not public data, as defined in section
and medical records under sections
to 144.298, that are maintained by facilities to the
extent necessary to conduct its investigation. Each lead agency shall develop guidelines for
prioritizing reports for investigation.
Subd. 9c. Lead agency; notifications, dispositions, and determinations.
(a) Upon request
of the reporter, the lead agency shall notify the reporter that it has received the report, and provide
information on the initial disposition of the report within five business days of receipt of the report,
provided that the notification will not endanger the vulnerable adult or hamper the investigation.
(b) Upon conclusion of every investigation it conducts, the lead agency shall make a final
disposition as defined in section
626.5572, subdivision 8
(c) When determining whether the facility or individual is the responsible party for
substantiated maltreatment or whether both the facility and the individual are responsible for
substantiated maltreatment, the lead agency shall consider at least the following mitigating factors:
(1) whether the actions of the facility or the individual caregivers were in accordance with,
and followed the terms of, an erroneous physician order, prescription, resident care plan, or
directive. This is not a mitigating factor when the facility or caregiver is responsible for the
issuance of the erroneous order, prescription, plan, or directive or knows or should have known of
the errors and took no reasonable measures to correct the defect before administering care;
(2) the comparative responsibility between the facility, other caregivers, and requirements
placed upon the employee, including but not limited to, the facility's compliance with related
regulatory standards and factors such as the adequacy of facility policies and procedures, the
adequacy of facility training, the adequacy of an individual's participation in the training, the
adequacy of caregiver supervision, the adequacy of facility staffing levels, and a consideration of
the scope of the individual employee's authority; and
(3) whether the facility or individual followed professional standards in exercising
(d) The lead agency shall complete its final disposition within 60 calendar days. If the lead
agency is unable to complete its final disposition within 60 calendar days, the lead agency shall
notify the following persons provided that the notification will not endanger the vulnerable adult
or hamper the investigation: (1) the vulnerable adult or the vulnerable adult's legal guardian, when
known, if the lead agency knows them to be aware of the investigation and (2) the facility, where
applicable. The notice shall contain the reason for the delay and the projected completion date. If
the lead agency is unable to complete its final disposition by a subsequent projected completion
date, the lead agency shall again notify the vulnerable adult or the vulnerable adult's legal
guardian, when known if the lead agency knows them to be aware of the investigation, and the
facility, where applicable, of the reason for the delay and the revised projected completion date
provided that the notification will not endanger the vulnerable adult or hamper the investigation.
A lead agency's inability to complete the final disposition within 60 calendar days or by any
projected completion date does not invalidate the final disposition.
(e) Within ten calendar days of completing the final disposition, the lead agency shall provide
a copy of the public investigation memorandum under subdivision 12b, paragraph (b), clause (1),
when required to be completed under this section, to the following persons: (1) the vulnerable
adult, or the vulnerable adult's legal guardian, if known unless the lead agency knows that the
notification would endanger the well-being of the vulnerable adult; (2) the reporter, if the reporter
requested notification when making the report, provided this notification would not endanger the
well-being of the vulnerable adult; (3) the alleged perpetrator, if known; (4) the facility; and (5)
the ombudsman for long-term care, or the ombudsman for mental health and developmental
disabilities, as appropriate.
(f) The lead agency shall notify the vulnerable adult who is the subject of the report or
the vulnerable adult's legal guardian, if known, and any person or facility determined to have
maltreated a vulnerable adult, of their appeal or review rights under this section or section
(g) The lead agency shall routinely provide investigation memoranda for substantiated
reports to the appropriate licensing boards. These reports must include the names of substantiated
perpetrators. The lead agency may not provide investigative memoranda for inconclusive or false
reports to the appropriate licensing boards unless the lead agency's investigation gives reason
to believe that there may have been a violation of the applicable professional practice laws. If
the investigation memorandum is provided to a licensing board, the subject of the investigation
memorandum shall be notified and receive a summary of the investigative findings.
(h) In order to avoid duplication, licensing boards shall consider the findings of the lead
agency in their investigations if they choose to investigate. This does not preclude licensing
boards from considering other information.
(i) The lead agency must provide to the commissioner of human services its final dispositions,
including the names of all substantiated perpetrators. The commissioner of human services shall
establish records to retain the names of substantiated perpetrators.
Subd. 9d. Administrative reconsideration; review panel.
(a) Except as provided under
paragraph (e), any individual or facility which a lead agency determines has maltreated a
vulnerable adult, or the vulnerable adult or an interested person acting on behalf of the vulnerable
adult, regardless of the lead agency's determination, who contests the lead agency's final
disposition of an allegation of maltreatment, may request the lead agency to reconsider its final
disposition. The request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to the lead agency
within 15 calendar days after receipt of notice of final disposition or, if the request is made by
an interested person who is not entitled to notice, within 15 days after receipt of the notice
by the vulnerable adult or the vulnerable adult's legal guardian. If mailed, the request for
reconsideration must be postmarked and sent to the lead agency within 15 calendar days of
the individual's or facility's receipt of the final disposition. If the request for reconsideration is
made by personal service, it must be received by the lead agency within 15 calendar days of the
individual's or facility's receipt of the final disposition. An individual who was determined to have
maltreated a vulnerable adult under this section and who was disqualified on the basis of serious
or recurring maltreatment under sections
, may request reconsideration of
the maltreatment determination and the disqualification. The request for reconsideration of the
maltreatment determination and the disqualification must be submitted in writing within 30
calendar days of the individual's receipt of the notice of disqualification under sections
. If mailed, the request for reconsideration of the maltreatment determination and the
disqualification must be postmarked and sent to the lead agency within 30 calendar days of the
individual's receipt of the notice of disqualification. If the request for reconsideration is made
by personal service, it must be received by the lead agency within 30 calendar days after the
individual's receipt of the notice of disqualification.
(b) Except as provided under paragraphs (e) and (f), if the lead agency denies the request or
fails to act upon the request within 15 working days after receiving the request for reconsideration,
the person or facility entitled to a fair hearing under section
, may submit to the
commissioner of human services a written request for a hearing under that statute. The vulnerable
adult, or an interested person acting on behalf of the vulnerable adult, may request a review by the
Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Review Panel under section
if the lead agency denies the
request or fails to act upon the request, or if the vulnerable adult or interested person contests a
reconsidered disposition. The lead agency shall notify persons who request reconsideration of
their rights under this paragraph. The request must be submitted in writing to the review panel and
a copy sent to the lead agency within 30 calendar days of receipt of notice of a denial of a request
for reconsideration or of a reconsidered disposition. The request must specifically identify the
aspects of the agency determination with which the person is dissatisfied.
(c) If, as a result of a reconsideration or review, the lead agency changes the final disposition,
it shall notify the parties specified in subdivision 9c, paragraph (d).
(d) For purposes of this subdivision, "interested person acting on behalf of the vulnerable
adult" means a person designated in writing by the vulnerable adult to act on behalf of the
vulnerable adult, or a legal guardian or conservator or other legal representative, a proxy or
health care agent appointed under chapter 145B or 145C, or an individual who is related to the
vulnerable adult, as defined in section
245A.02, subdivision 13
(e) If an individual was disqualified under sections
, on the basis of a
determination of maltreatment, which was serious or recurring, and the individual has requested
reconsideration of the maltreatment determination under paragraph (a) and reconsideration of
the disqualification under sections
, reconsideration of the maltreatment
determination and requested reconsideration of the disqualification shall be consolidated into a
single reconsideration. If reconsideration of the maltreatment determination is denied or if the
disqualification is not set aside under sections
, the individual may request a
fair hearing under section
. If an individual requests a fair hearing on the maltreatment
determination and the disqualification, the scope of the fair hearing shall include both the
maltreatment determination and the disqualification.
(f) If a maltreatment determination or a disqualification based on serious or recurring
maltreatment is the basis for a denial of a license under section
or a licensing sanction
, the license holder has the right to a contested case hearing under
chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505
. As provided for under section
, the scope of the contested case hearing must include the maltreatment determination,
disqualification, and licensing sanction or denial of a license. In such cases, a fair hearing must
not be conducted under section
. Except for family child care and child foster care,
reconsideration of a maltreatment determination under this subdivision, and reconsideration of a
disqualification under section
, must not be conducted when:
(1) a denial of a license under section
, or a licensing sanction under section
, is based on a determination that the license holder is responsible for maltreatment or the
disqualification of a license holder based on serious or recurring maltreatment;
(2) the denial of a license or licensing sanction is issued at the same time as the maltreatment
determination or disqualification; and
(3) the license holder appeals the maltreatment determination or disqualification, and denial
of a license or licensing sanction.
Notwithstanding clauses (1) to (3), if the license holder appeals the maltreatment
determination or disqualification, but does not appeal the denial of a license or a licensing
sanction, reconsideration of the maltreatment determination shall be conducted under sections
626.556, subdivision 10i
626.557, subdivision 9d
, and reconsideration of the disqualification
shall be conducted under section
. In such cases, a fair hearing shall also be conducted as
provided under sections
626.557, subdivision 9d
If the disqualified subject is an individual other than the license holder and upon whom a
background study must be conducted under chapter 245C, the hearings of all parties may be
consolidated into a single contested case hearing upon consent of all parties and the administrative
(g) Until August 1, 2002, an individual or facility that was determined by the commissioner
of human services or the commissioner of health to be responsible for neglect under section
626.5572, subdivision 17
, after October 1, 1995, and before August 1, 2001, that believes that the
finding of neglect does not meet an amended definition of neglect may request a reconsideration
of the determination of neglect. The commissioner of human services or the commissioner of
health shall mail a notice to the last known address of individuals who are eligible to seek this
reconsideration. The request for reconsideration must state how the established findings no longer
meet the elements of the definition of neglect. The commissioner shall review the request for
reconsideration and make a determination within 15 calendar days. The commissioner's decision
on this reconsideration is the final agency action.
(1) For purposes of compliance with the data destruction schedule under subdivision 12b,
paragraph (d), when a finding of substantiated maltreatment has been changed as a result
of a reconsideration under this paragraph, the date of the original finding of a substantiated
maltreatment must be used to calculate the destruction date.
(2) For purposes of any background studies under chapter 245C, when a determination
of substantiated maltreatment has been changed as a result of a reconsideration under this
paragraph, any prior disqualification of the individual under chapter 245C that was based on this
determination of maltreatment shall be rescinded, and for future background studies under chapter
245C the commissioner must not use the previous determination of substantiated maltreatment as
a basis for disqualification or as a basis for referring the individual's maltreatment history to a
health-related licensing board under section
Subd. 9e. Education requirements.
(a) The commissioners of health, human services, and
public safety shall cooperate in the development of a joint program for education of lead agency
investigators in the appropriate techniques for investigation of complaints of maltreatment. This
program must be developed by July 1, 1996. The program must include but need not be limited to
the following areas: (1) information collection and preservation; (2) analysis of facts; (3) levels
of evidence; (4) conclusions based on evidence; (5) interviewing skills, including specialized
training to interview people with unique needs; (6) report writing; (7) coordination and referral
to other necessary agencies such as law enforcement and judicial agencies; (8) human relations
and cultural diversity; (9) the dynamics of adult abuse and neglect within family systems and the
appropriate methods for interviewing relatives in the course of the assessment or investigation;
(10) the protective social services that are available to protect alleged victims from further
abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation; (11) the methods by which lead agency investigators
and law enforcement workers cooperate in conducting assessments and investigations in order to
avoid duplication of efforts; and (12) data practices laws and procedures, including provisions
for sharing data.
(b) The commissioners of health, human services, and public safety shall offer at least annual
education to others on the requirements of this section, on how this section is implemented,
and investigation techniques.
(c) The commissioner of human services, in coordination with the commissioner of public
safety shall provide training for the common entry point staff as required in this subdivision and
the program courses described in this subdivision, at least four times per year. At a minimum, the
training shall be held twice annually in the seven-county metropolitan area and twice annually
outside the seven-county metropolitan area. The commissioners shall give priority in the program
areas cited in paragraph (a) to persons currently performing assessments and investigations
pursuant to this section.
(d) The commissioner of public safety shall notify in writing law enforcement personnel
of any new requirements under this section. The commissioner of public safety shall conduct
regional training for law enforcement personnel regarding their responsibility under this section.
(e) Each lead agency investigator must complete the education program specified by this
subdivision within the first 12 months of work as a lead agency investigator.
A lead agency investigator employed when these requirements take effect must complete the
program within the first year after training is available or as soon as training is available.
All lead agency investigators having responsibility for investigation duties under this section
must receive a minimum of eight hours of continuing education or in-service training each year
specific to their duties under this section.
Subd. 10. Duties of county social service agency.
(a) Upon receipt of a report from
the common entry point staff, the county social service agency shall immediately assess and
offer emergency and continuing protective social services for purposes of preventing further
maltreatment and for safeguarding the welfare of the maltreated vulnerable adult. In cases of
suspected sexual abuse, the county social service agency shall immediately arrange for and make
available to the vulnerable adult appropriate medical examination and treatment. When necessary
in order to protect the vulnerable adult from further harm, the county social service agency
shall seek authority to remove the vulnerable adult from the situation in which the maltreatment
occurred. The county social service agency may also investigate to determine whether the
conditions which resulted in the reported maltreatment place other vulnerable adults in jeopardy
of being maltreated and offer protective social services that are called for by its determination.
(b) County social service agencies may enter facilities and inspect and copy records as part
of an investigation. The county social service agency has access to not public data, as defined in
, and medical records under sections
to 144.298, that are maintained by
facilities to the extent necessary to conduct its investigation. The inquiry is not limited to the
written records of the facility, but may include every other available source of information.
(c) When necessary in order to protect a vulnerable adult from serious harm, the county
social service agency shall immediately intervene on behalf of that adult to help the family,
vulnerable adult, or other interested person by seeking any of the following:
(1) a restraining order or a court order for removal of the perpetrator from the residence of
the vulnerable adult pursuant to section
(2) the appointment of a guardian or conservator pursuant to sections
or guardianship or conservatorship pursuant to chapter 252A;
(3) replacement of a guardian or conservator suspected of maltreatment and appointment of a
suitable person as guardian or conservator, pursuant to sections
(4) a referral to the prosecuting attorney for possible criminal prosecution of the perpetrator
under chapter 609.
The expenses of legal intervention must be paid by the county in the case of indigent persons,
and chapter 563.
In proceedings under sections
, if a suitable relative or other person is
not available to petition for guardianship or conservatorship, a county employee shall present
the petition with representation by the county attorney. The county shall contract with or arrange
for a suitable person or organization to provide ongoing guardianship services. If the county
presents evidence to the court exercising probate jurisdiction that it has made a diligent effort and
no other suitable person can be found, a county employee may serve as guardian or conservator.
The county shall not retaliate against the employee for any action taken on behalf of the ward
or protected person even if the action is adverse to the county's interest. Any person retaliated
against in violation of this subdivision shall have a cause of action against the county and shall be
entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs of the action if the action is upheld by the court.
Subd. 10a.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 11.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 11a.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 12.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 12a.[Repealed, 1983 c 273 s 8
Subd. 12b. Data management.
(a) County data.
In performing any of the duties of this
section as a lead agency, the county social service agency shall maintain appropriate records. Data
collected by the county social service agency under this section are welfare data under section
. Notwithstanding section
13.46, subdivision 1
, paragraph (a), data under this paragraph that
are inactive investigative data on an individual who is a vendor of services are private data on
individuals, as defined in section
. The identity of the reporter may only be disclosed as
provided in paragraph (c).
Data maintained by the common entry point are confidential data on individuals or protected
nonpublic data as defined in section
. Notwithstanding section
, the common entry
point shall destroy data three calendar years after date of receipt.
(b) Lead agency data.
The commissioners of health and human services shall prepare an
investigation memorandum for each report alleging maltreatment investigated under this section.
County social service agencies must maintain private data on individuals but are not required to
prepare an investigation memorandum. During an investigation by the commissioner of health
or the commissioner of human services, data collected under this section are confidential data
on individuals or protected nonpublic data as defined in section
. Upon completion of the
investigation, the data are classified as provided in clauses (1) to (3) and paragraph (c).
(1) The investigation memorandum must contain the following data, which are public:
(i) the name of the facility investigated;
(ii) a statement of the nature of the alleged maltreatment;
(iii) pertinent information obtained from medical or other records reviewed;
(iv) the identity of the investigator;
(v) a summary of the investigation's findings;
(vi) statement of whether the report was found to be substantiated, inconclusive, false, or
that no determination will be made;
(vii) a statement of any action taken by the facility;
(viii) a statement of any action taken by the lead agency; and
(ix) when a lead agency's determination has substantiated maltreatment, a statement
of whether an individual, individuals, or a facility were responsible for the substantiated
maltreatment, if known.
The investigation memorandum must be written in a manner which protects the identity of
the reporter and of the vulnerable adult and may not contain the names or, to the extent possible,
data on individuals or private data listed in clause (2).
(2) Data on individuals collected and maintained in the investigation memorandum are
private data, including:
(i) the name of the vulnerable adult;
(ii) the identity of the individual alleged to be the perpetrator;
(iii) the identity of the individual substantiated as the perpetrator; and
(iv) the identity of all individuals interviewed as part of the investigation.
(3) Other data on individuals maintained as part of an investigation under this section are
private data on individuals upon completion of the investigation.
(c) Identity of reporter.
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 a court that the report
was false and 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, except that
where the identity of the reporter is relevant to a criminal prosecution, the district court shall do an
in-camera review prior to determining whether to order disclosure of the identity of the reporter.
(d) Destruction of data.
, data maintained under this
section by the commissioners of health and human services must be destroyed under the following
(1) data from reports determined to be false, two years after the finding was made;
(2) data from reports determined to be inconclusive, four years after the finding was made;
(3) data from reports determined to be substantiated, seven years after the finding was
(4) data from reports which were not investigated by a lead agency and for which there is no
final disposition, two years from the date of the report.
(e) Summary of reports.
The commissioners of health and human services shall each
annually report to the legislature and the governor on the number and type of reports of alleged
maltreatment involving licensed facilities reported under this section, the number of those
requiring investigation under this section, and the resolution of those investigations. The report
(1) whether and where backlogs of cases result in a failure to conform with statutory time
(2) where adequate coverage requires additional appropriations and staffing; and
(3) any other trends that affect the safety of vulnerable adults.
(f) Record retention policy.
Each lead agency must have a record retention policy.
(g) Exchange of information.
Lead agencies, prosecuting authorities, and law enforcement
agencies may exchange not public data, as defined in section
, if the agency or authority
requesting the data determines that the data are pertinent and necessary to the requesting agency
in initiating, furthering, or completing an investigation under this section. Data collected under
this section must be made available to prosecuting authorities and law enforcement officials, local
county agencies, and licensing agencies investigating the alleged maltreatment under this section.
The lead agency shall exchange not public data with the vulnerable adult maltreatment review
panel established in section
if the data are pertinent and necessary for a review requested
under that section. Upon completion of the review, not public data received by the review panel
must be returned to the lead agency.
(h) Completion time.
Each lead agency shall keep records of the length of time it takes to
complete its investigations.
(i) Notification of other affected parties.
A lead agency may notify other affected parties
and their authorized representative if the agency has reason to believe maltreatment has occurred
and determines the information will safeguard the well-being of the affected parties or dispel
widespread rumor or unrest in the affected facility.
(j) Federal requirements.
Under any notification provision of this section, where federal
law specifically prohibits the disclosure of patient identifying information, a lead agency may not
provide any notice unless the vulnerable adult has consented to disclosure in a manner which
conforms to federal requirements.
Subd. 13.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 14. Abuse prevention plans.
(a) Each facility, except home health agencies and
personal care attendant services providers, shall establish and enforce an ongoing written abuse
prevention plan. The plan shall contain an assessment of the physical plant, its environment, and
its population identifying factors which may encourage or permit abuse, and a statement of
specific measures to be taken to minimize the risk of abuse. The plan shall comply with any rules
governing the plan promulgated by the licensing agency.
(b) Each facility, including a home health care agency and personal care attendant services
providers, shall develop an individual abuse prevention plan for each vulnerable adult residing
there or receiving services from them. The plan shall contain an individualized assessment of: (1)
the person's susceptibility to abuse by other individuals, including other vulnerable adults; (2) the
person's risk of abusing other vulnerable adults; and (3) statements of the specific measures to be
taken to minimize the risk of abuse to that person and other vulnerable adults. For the purposes of
this paragraph, the term "abuse" includes self-abuse.
(c) If the facility, except home health agencies and personal care attendant services providers,
knows that the vulnerable adult has committed a violent crime or an act of physical aggression
toward others, the individual abuse prevention plan must detail the measures to be taken to
minimize the risk that the vulnerable adult might reasonably be expected to pose to visitors to
the facility and persons outside the facility, if unsupervised. Under this section, a facility knows
of a vulnerable adult's history of criminal misconduct or physical aggression if it receives such
information from a law enforcement authority or through a medical record prepared by another
facility, another health care provider, or the facility's ongoing assessments of the vulnerable adult.
Subd. 15.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
Subd. 16. Implementation authority.
(a) By September 1, 1995, the attorney general and
the commissioners of health and human services, in coordination with representatives of other
entities that receive or investigate maltreatment reports, shall develop the common report form
described in subdivision 9. The form may be used by mandated reporters, county social service
agencies, law enforcement entities, licensing agencies, or ombudsman offices.
(b) The commissioners of health and human services shall as soon as possible promulgate
rules necessary to implement the requirements of this section.
(c) By December 31, 1995, the commissioners of health, human services, and public safety
shall develop criteria for the design of a statewide database utilizing data collected on the common
intake form of the common entry point. The statewide database must be accessible to all entities
required to conduct investigations under this section, and must be accessible to ombudsman and
(d) By September 1, 1995, each lead agency shall develop the guidelines required in
Subd. 17. Retaliation prohibited.
(a) A facility or person shall not retaliate against any
person who reports in good faith suspected maltreatment pursuant to this section, or against a
vulnerable adult with respect to whom a report is made, because of the report.
(b) In addition to any remedies allowed under sections
, any facility or
person which retaliates against any person because of a report of suspected maltreatment is liable
to that person for actual damages, punitive damages up to $10,000, and attorney's fees.
(c) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any adverse action, as defined below, within
90 days of a report, is retaliatory. For purposes of this clause, the term "adverse action" refers
to action taken by a facility or person involved in a report against the person making the report
or the person with respect to whom the report was made because of the report, and includes,
but is not limited to:
(1) discharge or transfer from the facility;
(2) discharge from or termination of employment;
(3) demotion or reduction in remuneration for services;
(4) restriction or prohibition of access to the facility or its residents; or
(5) any restriction of rights set forth in section
Subd. 18. Outreach.
The commissioner of human services shall maintain an aggressive
program to educate those required to report, as well as the general public, about the requirements
of this section using a variety of media. The commissioner of human services shall print and make
available the form developed under subdivision 9.
Subd. 19.[Repealed, 1995 c 229 art 1 s 24
History: 1980 c 542 s 1; 1981 c 311 s 39; 1982 c 393 s 3,4; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1982 c 545 s
24; 1982 c 636 s 5,6; 1983 c 273 s 1-7; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 150 s 1-6;
1985 c 293 s 6,7; 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 75; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 110 s 3; 1987 c 211 s 2; 1987 c 352
s 11; 1987 c 378 s 17; 1987 c 384 art 2 s 1; 1988 c 543 s 13; 1989 c 209 art 2 s 1; 1991 c 181 s 2;
1994 c 483 s 1; 1994 c 636 art 2 s 60-62; 1Sp1994 c 1 art 2 s 34; 1995 c 189 s 8; 1995 c 229 art 1
s 1-21; 1996 c 277 s 1; 1996 c 305 art 2 s 66; 2000 c 465 s 3-5; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 5 s 31; art 14 s
30,31; 2002 c 289 s 4; 2002 c 375 art 1 s 22,23; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 15 art 1 s 33; 2004
c 146 art 3 s 45; 2004 c 288 art 1 s 80; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 98 art 2 s 17; 2005 c 136 art 5 s 5;
1Sp2005 c 4 art 1 s 55,56; 2006 c 253 s 21; 2007 c 112 s 55,56; 2007 c 147 art 7 s 75; art 10 s 15