State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_122C > GS_122C-54

§ 122C‑54.  Exceptions;abuse reports and court proceedings.

(a)        A facility shalldisclose confidential information if a court of competent jurisdiction issuesan order compelling disclosure.

(a1)      Upon a determinationby the facility director or his designee that disclosure is in the bestinterests of the client, a facility may disclose confidential information forpurposes of filing a petition for involuntary commitment of a client pursuantto Article 5 of this Chapter or for purposes of filing a petition for theadjudication of incompetency of the client and the appointment of a guardian oran interim guardian under Chapter 35A of the General Statutes.

(b)        If an individual isa defendant in a criminal case and a mental examination of the defendant hasbeen ordered by the court as provided in G.S. 15A‑1002, the facilityshall send the results or the report of the mental examination to the clerk ofcourt, to the district attorney or prosecuting officer, and to the attorney ofrecord for the defendant as provided in G.S. 15A‑1002(d).

(c)        Certified copies ofwritten results of examinations by physicians and records in the cases ofclients voluntarily admitted or involuntarily committed and facing districtcourt hearings and rehearings pursuant to Article 5 of this Chapter shall befurnished by the facility to the client's counsel, the attorney representingthe State's interest, and the court. The confidentiality of client informationshall be preserved in all matters except those pertaining to the necessity foradmission or continued stay in the facility or commitment under review. Therelevance of confidential information for which disclosure is sought in aparticular case shall be determined by the court with jurisdiction over thematter.

(d)        Any individual seekingconfidential information contained in the court files or the court records of aproceeding made pursuant to Article 5 of this Chapter may file a written motionin the cause setting out why the information is needed. A district court judgemay issue an order to disclose the confidential information sought if he findsthe order is appropriate under the circumstances and if he finds that it is inthe best interest of the individual admitted or committed or of the public tohave the information disclosed.

(d1)      After a judicialdetermination that an individual shall be involuntarily committed for eitherinpatient or outpatient mental health treatment pursuant to Article 5 of thisChapter, the clerk of superior court in the county where the judicialdetermination was made shall, as soon as practicable, cause a report of thecommitment to be transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background CheckSystem (NICS). Reporting of an individual involuntarily committed to outpatientmental health treatment under this subsection shall only be reported if theindividual is found to be a danger to self or others. The clerk shall alsocause to be transmitted to NICS a record where an individual is found notguilty by reason of insanity or found mentally incompetent to proceed tocriminal trial. The clerk, upon receipt of documentation that an affectedindividual has received a relief from disabilities pursuant to G.S. 122C‑54.1or any applicable federal law, shall cause the individual's record in NICS tobe updated. The record of involuntary commitment shall be accessible only by anentity having proper access to NICS and shall remain otherwise confidential asprovided by this Article. The clerk shall effect the transmissions to NICSrequired by the subsection according to protocols which shall be established bythe Administrative Office of the Courts.

(e)        Upon the request ofthe legally responsible person or the minor admitted or committed, and afterthat minor has both been released and reached adulthood, the court records ofthat minor made in proceedings pursuant to Article 5 of this Chapter may beexpunged from the files of the court. The minor and his legally responsibleperson shall be informed in writing by the court of the right provided by thissubsection at the time that the application for admission is filed with thecourt.

(f)         A State facilityand the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals atChapel Hill may disclose confidential information to staff attorneys of theAttorney General's office whenever the information is necessary to theperformance of the statutory responsibilities of the Attorney General's officeor to its performance when acting as attorney for a State facility or thepsychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at ChapelHill.

(g)        A facility maydisclose confidential information to an attorney who represents either thefacility or an employee of the facility, if such information is relevant tolitigation, to the operations of the facility, or to the provision of servicesby the facility. An employee may discuss confidential information with hisattorney or with an attorney representing the facility in which he is employed.

(h)        A facility shalldisclose confidential information for purposes of complying with Article 3 ofChapter 7B of the General Statutes and Article 6 of Chapter 108A of the GeneralStatutes, or as required by other State or federal law.

(i)         G.S. 132‑1.4shall apply to the records of criminal investigations conducted by any law enforcementunit of a State facility, and information described in G.S. 132‑1.4(c)that is collected by the State facility law enforcement unit shall be publicrecords within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1.

(j)         Notwithstandingany other provision of this Chapter, the Secretary may inform any person of anyincident or event involving the welfare of a client or former client when theSecretary determines that the release of the information is essential tomaintaining the integrity of the Department. However, the release shall notinclude information that identifies the client directly, or information forwhich disclosure is prohibited by State or federal law or requirements, orinformation for which, in the Secretary's judgment, by reference to publiclyknown or available information, there is a reasonable basis to believe theclient will be identified.  (1955, c. 887, s. 12; 1963, c. 1166, s. 10; 1973, c.47, s. 2; c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, s. 5; c. 1408, s. 2; 1977, c. 696, s. 1;1979, c. 147; c. 915, s. 20; 1983, c. 383, s. 10; c. 491; c. 638, s. 22; c.864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 638, ss. 1, 3.1; 1989, c. 141, s. 9;1993, c. 516, s. 12; 1998‑202, s. 13(dd); 2003‑313, s. 2; 2008‑210,s. 1; 2009‑299, s. 6.)