ASSEMBLY, No. 1620

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† SCOTT T. RUMANA

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman† JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman† NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman† KEVIN J. ROONEY

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires law enforcement be notified of application to expunge mental commitment record.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

††


An Act concerning certain records of mental commitments and amending P.L.1965, c.59 and P.L.1953, c.268.†

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† Section 11 of P.L.1965, c.59 (C.30:4-24.3) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 11.† All certificates, applications, records, and reports made pursuant to the provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes and directly or indirectly identifying any individual [presently] currently or formerly receiving services in a noncorrectional institution under Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, or for whom services in a noncorrectional institution shall be sought under this act shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed by any person, except insofar as:†

†††† a.†††† the individual identified or his legal guardian, if any, or, if he is a minor, his parent or legal guardian, shall consent; [or]

†††† b.††† disclosure may be necessary to carry out any of the provisions of this act or of article 9 of chapter 82 of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes; [or]

†††† c.†††† a court may direct, upon its determination that disclosure is necessary for the conduct of proceedings before it and that failure to make such disclosure would be contrary to the public interest; [or]

†††† d.††† disclosure may be necessary to conduct an investigation into the financial ability to pay of any person receiving services or his chargeable relatives pursuant to the provisions of R.S.30:1-12[.] ;

†††† e.†††† disclosure is needed to comply with the data reporting provisions of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Pub. L. 103-159[.] ; or

†††† f.†††† disclosure may be necessary in connection with the review of an application for expungement pursuant to P.L.1953, c.268 (C:30:4-80.8 et seq.).††

†††† Nothing in this section shall preclude disclosure, upon proper inquiry, of information as to a patient's current medical condition to any relative or friend or to the patient's personal physician or attorney if it appears that the information is to be used directly or indirectly for the benefit of the patient.†

†††† Nothing in this section shall preclude the professional staff of a community agency under contract with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, or of a screening service, short-term care or psychiatric facility as those facilities are defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) from disclosing information that is relevant to a patient's current treatment to the staff of another such agency.†

(cf:† P.L.2009, c.183, s.4)

 

†††† 2.††† Section 2 of P.L.1953, c.268 (C.30:4-80.9) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2.††† a.† Upon reading and filing [such] the petition, the court shall by order fix a time, not less than 10 [nor] or more than 30 days thereafter, for the hearing of [such] the matter[,] and a copy of [which] the order shall be served by the petitioner upon the county adjuster of the county and upon the medical director of the institution or facility to which such person was committed or upon the party or parties who applied for the determination that the person be found to be a danger to himself, others, or property, or determined to be an incapacitated individual as defined in N.J.S.3B:1-2[, and at] .

†††† A petitioner seeking relief under section 1 of P.L.1953, c.268 (C.30:4-80.8) also shall serve a copy of the order upon the following persons:

†††† (1)†† if the petitioner is a resident of New Jersey, the Attorney General; the county prosecutor of the county in which the petitioner was committed; the chief of police of the municipality in which the petitioner resides, or the Superintendent of State Police if there is no police force; and the chief of police of the municipality in which the petitioner resided at the time of commitment or the superintendent if there is no police force; or

†††† (2)†† if the petitioner is not a resident of New Jersey, the Attorney General of the state and the chief of police of the county or†† municipality where the petitioner currently resides.

†††† b.††† At the time so appointed, or to which it may be adjourned, the court shall hear evidence as to: the circumstances of why the commitment or determination was imposed upon the petitioner, the petitioner's mental health record and criminal history, and the petitioner's reputation in the community.† If the court finds that the petitioner will not likely act in a manner dangerous to the public safety and finds that the grant of relief is not contrary to the public interest, the court shall grant such relief for which the petitioner has applied and, an order directing the clerk of the court to expunge such commitment from the records of the court.

(cf:† P.L.2009, c.183, s.2)

 

†††† 3.† This act shall take effect immediately.†

STATEMENT

 

†††† The bill establishes a procedure for notifying appropriate law enforcement officials when a person applies to the court to have expunged a record of civil commitment.†

†††† Current law establishes a procedure for persons who have been committed to an institution or facility providing mental health services to have the record of that commitment expunged if they were discharged as recovered or if their illness was substantially improved or in substantial remission upon discharge.† Certain parties are to be notified of the application for expungement, including the county adjuster and the medical director of the institution or facility.† Under the bill, applicants who are residents of the State also would be required to notify the Attorney General; the county prosecutor of the county in which the petitioner was committed; the chief of police of the municipality in which the petitioner resides, or the Superintendent of State Police if there is no police force; and the chief of police of the municipality in which the petitioner resided at the time of commitment or the superintendent if there is no police force.† Applicants who are not State residents are required to notify the Attorney General of the state and the chief of police of the county or municipality in which they currently reside.†

†††† Law enforcement officers may have information not readily accessible to the court, such as pending charges, the purchaserís criminal history, or any aberrant behavior within the community that would assist in the courtís decision whether to grant the expungement.