State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title35 > Chapter20

CHAPTER 20 - ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES

 

35-20-101. Short title.

 

Thisact may be cited as the "Adult Protective Services Act".

 

35-20-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Abandonment" means leaving a vulnerable adultwithout financial support or the means or ability to obtain food, clothing,shelter or health care;

 

(ii) "Abuse" means the intentional or recklessinfliction, by the vulnerable adult's caregiver, family member or otherindividual of:

 

(A) Injury;

 

(B) Unreasonable confinement which threatens the welfare andwell being of a vulnerable adult;

 

(C) Cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harmor pain to a vulnerable adult; or

 

(D) Photographing vulnerable adults in violation of W.S. 6-4-304(b).

 

(iii) "Administrator" means the director of thedepartment of family services or his designee;

 

(iv) "Caregiver" means any person or agencyresponsible for the care of a vulnerable adult because of:

 

(A) A family relationship;

 

(B) Voluntary assumption of responsibility for care;

 

(C) Court ordered responsibility or placement;

 

(D) Rendering services in an adult workshop or adultresidential program;

 

(E) Rendering services in an institution or in acommunity-based program; or

 

(F) Acceptance of a legal obligation or responsibility to thevulnerable adult through a power of attorney, advanced health care directive orother legal designation.

 

(v) "Court" means the district court in the districtwhere the vulnerable adult resides or is found;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(vii) "Department" means the state department of familyservices or its designee;

 

(viii) "Emergency services" means those services,including physical care and custody in a nonrestrictive environment, necessaryto maintain the vulnerable adult's vital functions and without which servicesthe vulnerable adult would suffer irreparable harm or death;

 

(ix) "Exploitation" means the reckless or intentionalact taken by any person, or any use of the power of attorney, conservatorshipor guardianship of a vulnerable adult, to:

 

(A) Obtain control through deception, harassment, intimidationor undue influence over the vulnerable adult's money, assets or property withthe intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the vulnerable adult ofthe ownership, use, benefit or possession of his money, assets or property; or

 

(B) In the absence of legal authority:

 

(I) Employ the services of a third party for the profit oradvantage of the person or another person to the detriment of a vulnerableadult;

 

(II) Force, compel, coerce or entice a vulnerable adult toperform services for the profit or advantage of another against the will of thevulnerable adult.

 

(x) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess, Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xi) "Neglect" means the deprivation of, or failure toprovide, the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical and mentalhealth care, other care and prescribed medication as necessary to maintain avulnerable adult's life or health, or which may result in a life-threateningsituation. The withholding of health care from a vulnerable adult is notneglect if:

 

(A) Treatment is given in good faith by spiritual means alone,through prayer, by a duly accredited practitioner in accordance with the tenetsand practices of a recognized church or religious denomination;

 

(B) The withholding of health care is in accordance with adeclaration executed pursuant to W.S. 35-22-401 through 35-22-416; or

 

(C) Care is provided by a hospice licensed in accordance withand pursuant to W.S. 35-2-901 through 35-2-910.

 

(xii) "Protective services" means those emergencyservices provided by the department to assist vulnerable adults to prevent orterminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment until thevulnerable adult no longer needs those services. These services may includesocial casework, case management, home care, day care, social services, healthcare, psychiatric or health evaluations and other emergency services consistentwith this act;

 

(xiii) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xiv) "Capacity to consent" means the ability tounderstand and appreciate the nature and consequences of making decisionsconcerning one's person, including, provisions for health or mental healthcare, food, shelter, clothing, safety or financial affairs. This determinationmay be based on assessment or investigative findings, observation or medical ormental health evaluations;

 

(xv) "Injury" means any harm, including disfigurement,impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising, laceration, bleeding, burn,fracture or dislocation of any bone, subdural hematoma, malnutrition,dehydration or pressure sores;

 

(xvi) "Mental disability" means a condition causingmental dysfunction resulting in an inability to manage resources, carry out theactivities of daily living or protect oneself from neglect, abuse, exploitationor hazardous situations without assistance from others. Whether or not a mentaldysfunction of such degree exists is subject to an evaluation by a licensedpsychologist, psychiatrist or other qualified licensed mental healthprofessional or licensed physician, if disputed;

 

(xvii) "Self neglect" means when a vulnerable adult isunable, due to physical or mental disability, or refuses to perform essentialself-care tasks, including providing essential food, clothing, shelter ormedical care, obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physicalhealth, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety, or managingfinancial affairs;

 

(xviii) "Vulnerable adult" means any person eighteen (18)years of age or older who is unable to manage and take care of himself or hismoney, assets or property without assistance as a result of advanced age orphysical or mental disability;

 

(xix) "Substantiated report" means any report ofabandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect pursuant to this actthat is determined upon investigation to establish that credible evidence ofthe alleged abandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect exists;

 

(xx) "Intimidation" means the communication by word oract to a vulnerable adult that he, his family, friends or pets will be deprivedof food, shelter, clothing, supervision, prescribed medication, physical ormental health care and other medical care necessary to maintain a vulnerableadult's health, financial support or will suffer physical violence;

 

(xxi) "This act" means W.S. 35-20-101 through35-20-116.

 

35-20-103. Reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation orabandonment of vulnerable adult; reports maintained in central registry.

 

(a) Any person or agency who knows or has reasonable cause tobelieve that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned or is committing self neglect shall reportthe information immediately to a law enforcement agency or the department.Anyone who in good faith makes a report pursuant to this section is immune fromcivil liability for making the report.

 

(b) The report may be made orally or in writing. The reportshall provide to law enforcement or the department the following, to the extentavailable:

 

(i) The name, age and address of the vulnerable adult;

 

(ii) The name and address of any person responsible for thevulnerable adult's care;

 

(iii) The nature and extent of the vulnerable adult's condition;

 

(iv) The basis of the reporter's knowledge;

 

(v) The names and conditions of the other residents, if thevulnerable adult resides in a facility with other vulnerable adults;

 

(vi) An evaluation of the persons responsible for the care ofthe residents, if the vulnerable adult resides in a facility with othervulnerable adults;

 

(vii) The adequacy of the facility environment;

 

(viii) Any evidence of previous injuries;

 

(ix) Any collaborative information; and

 

(x) Any other relevant information.

 

(c) After receipt of a report that a vulnerable adult issuspected of being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated orabandoned or is committing self neglect, the department shall notify lawenforcement and may request assistance from appropriate health or mental healthagencies.

 

(d) If a law enforcement officer determines that a vulnerableadult is abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or iscommitting self neglect, he shall notify the department concerning thepotential need of the vulnerable adult for protective services.

 

(e) Any report or notification to the department that avulnerable adult is, or is suspected of being, abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, shall be investigated,a determination shall be made whether protective services are necessary and,whether an individual instruction exists under W.S. 35-22-401 through35-22-416. If determined necessary, protective services shall be furnished bythe department within three (3) days from the time the report or notice isreceived by the department. The investigation may include a visit to thefacility in which the vulnerable adult resides and an interview with thevulnerable adult.

 

(f) Each substantiated report of abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult pursuant to this act shall beentered and maintained within the central registry of vulnerable adultprotection cases under W.S. 35-20-115.

 

35-20-104. Department to coordinate services; rules and regulations.

 

(a) The department shall:

 

(i) Coordinate a protective services program consistent withthis act, with the goal of ensuring that every vulnerable adult in need ofprotective services will have access to protective services;

 

(ii) Adopt rules, regulations and standards for servicesprovided by the department necessary to effect the provisions and purposes ofthis act;

 

(iii) Develop and maintain statistical data which set forthreferrals by type of incidence and disposition pursuant to this act but whichdo not contain personally identifiable information;

 

(iv) Provide appropriate training to all investigative agencypersonnel;

 

(v) Assign designated workers for adult protective serviceswithin the department to carry out the activities of this chapter;

 

(vi) Develop, facilitate and participate in localmultidisciplinary community-based adult protection teams that discuss adultprotection issues.

 

35-20-105. Protective services; no services without consent;responsibility for costs.

 

(a) The department may furnish protective services in responseto a request for assistance from the vulnerable adult, his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(b) Except under conditions provided for in W.S. 35-20-106 novulnerable adult shall be required to accept protective services without hisconsent or, if he lacks the capacity to consent, the consent of his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(c) Costs incurred to furnish protective services, includingbut not limited to fees for the services of a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator, shall be paid by the department unless:

 

(i) The vulnerable adult is eligible for protective servicesfrom another governmental agency or any other source; or

 

(ii) A court appoints a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator and orders that the costs be paid from the vulnerable adult'sestate.

 

35-20-106. Petition by department when caregiver refuses to allowservices; injunction.

 

(a) When a vulnerable adult needs protective services and thecaregiver refuses to allow the provision of those services, the department,through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the courtfor an order enjoining the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services.

 

(b) The petition shall allege facts sufficient to show that thevulnerable adult needs protective services, that he consents or lacks thecapacity to consent to receive the services and that the caregiver refuses toallow the protective services.

 

(c) If the court finds the allegations of the petition to betrue by a preponderance of the evidence, it may:

 

(i) Enjoin the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services; and

 

(ii) Order the department to provide the protective services.

 

35-20-107. Emergency services.

 

(a) If an emergency exists and the department has reasonablecause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, selfneglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment and lacks the capacity toconsent to the provision of protective services, the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court for an orderfor emergency protective services.

 

(b) The court shall give notice to the vulnerable adult who isthe subject of the petition at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to thehearing. The court may dispense with notice if it finds that immediate orreasonably foreseeable physical harm to the vulnerable adult will result fromthe twenty-four (24) hour delay and that reasonable attempts have been made togive notice.

 

(c) The allegations of the petition shall be proved by apreponderance of the evidence. If the court finds that the vulnerable adulthas been or is being abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, oris committing self neglect, that an emergency exists and that the vulnerableadult lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of services, the court mayorder the department to provide protective services on an emergency basis. Thecourt shall order only those services necessary to remove the conditionscreating the emergency and shall specifically designate the authorizedservices. The order for emergency protective services shall remain in effectfor a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours. The order may be extendedfor an additional seventy-two (72) hour period if the court finds that theextension is necessary to remove the emergency. The vulnerable adult, hisagent, his court appointed representative or the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court to set asideor modify the order at any time.

 

(d) The vulnerable adult may be placed by the court in ahospital or other suitable facility which is appropriate under thecircumstances. The person or agency in whose care the vulnerable adult isplaced shall immediately notify the person responsible for the care and custodyof the vulnerable adult, if known, of the placement.

 

35-20-108. Records confidential; exception.

 

Exceptas provided under W.S. 35-20-116, records of the department or other agency orthe court pertaining to a vulnerable adult receiving protective services underthis act are not open to public inspection. Information contained in thoserecords shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner that will identifyany individual. The records may be made available for inspection only uponapplication to the court pursuant to W.S. 35-20-112 for good cause shown.

 

35-20-109. Repealed By Laws 2002, Ch. 86, 3.

 

35-20-110. When access to vulnerable adult denied; injunction.

 

If access to the vulnerable adult is deniedto law enforcement or the department seeking to investigate a report of abuse,neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect of avulnerable adult, the investigator may seek an injunction to preventinterference with the investigation. The court may issue the injunction if itfinds that the person whose duty it is to investigate the report is actingwithin the scope of his duty and has been unreasonably denied access to thevulnerable adult.

 

35-20-111. Duty to report.

 

(a) The duty to report imposed by W.S. 35-20-103 applieswithout exception to a person or agency who knows, or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have tobelieve, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect.

 

(b) Any person or agency who knows or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have to believethat a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, and knowingly fails toreport in accordance with this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable byimprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

 

35-20-112. Confidentiality of records; penalties; access toinformation.

 

(a) All records concerning reports and investigations ofvulnerable adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment orself neglect are confidential except as provided by W.S. 35-20-116. Any personwho intentionally violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanorpunishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not morethan seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.

 

(b) The following records are confidential and not subject todisclosure under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205:

 

(i) A report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation,abandonment or self neglect under this act;

 

(ii) The identity of the person making the report; and

 

(iii) Except as provided by this section, all files, reports,records, communications, and working papers used or developed in aninvestigation made under this act or in providing services as a result of aninvestigation.

 

(c) Upon application made in the manner and form prescribed bythe department, the department may give access to records otherwiseconfidential under this section to any of the following persons or agencies forpurposes directly related with the administration of this act:

 

(i) A local adult protective agency;

 

(ii) A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, conservator,guardian, adult protection team or attorney representing the vulnerable adultwho is the subject of the report;

 

(iii) A physician or surgeon who is treating a vulnerable adult;and

 

(iv) Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents ofadult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment.

 

(d) Motions for access to records concerning vulnerable adultabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect held bythe state agency or local protective agency shall be made with the districtcourt in the county where the vulnerable adult resides. A court may orderdisclosure of confidential records only if:

 

(i) A motion is filed with the court requesting:

 

(A) Release of the records; and

 

(B) A hearing on the request for release of the records; or

 

(C) All interested parties stipulate to the release.

 

(ii) The motion for hearing is served on the department orinvestigating state agency and each interested party; and

 

(iii) The court determines after the hearing and an in-camerareview of the records that disclosure is necessary for the determination of allissues, in which case disclosure shall be limited to an in-camera inspection,or specifically limited disclosure, unless the court finds public disclosure isnecessary.

 

(e) The department or investigating state agency may establishprocedures to exchange with another state agency or governmental entity recordsthat are necessary for the department, state agency or entity to properlyexecute its respective duties and responsibilities to provide services tovulnerable adults under this act or other law. An exchange of records underthis subsection does not affect whether the records are subject to disclosureunder W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205.

 

(f) A physician or person in charge of an institution, school,facility or agency making a report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall receive, uponwritten application to the state agency, a written summary of the recordsconcerning the subject of the report.

 

(g) Any person, agency or institution given access to recordsconcerning the subject of the report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall not divulge ormake public any records except as required for court proceedings.

 

(h) Confidential records may be disclosed only for a purposeconsistent with this act and as provided by department or investigating stateagency rules and regulations and applicable federal law.

 

35-20-113. False report; penalty.

 

A person commits a misdemeanor punishableby imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, if he reports information pursuant tothis act and knows or has reason to know the information is false or lacksfactual foundation.

 

35-20-114. Immunity.

 

(a) A person or agency filing a report under this act ortestifying or otherwise participating in any judicial proceeding arising from apetition, report, or investigation is immune from civil or criminal liabilityon account of the person's petition, report, testimony or participation, unlessthe person knowingly or negligently reports information that is false or lacksfactual foundation. The immunity provided under this subsection applies only tothose persons whose professional communications are generally confidential orsubject to the Wyoming Public Records Act, W.S. 16-4-201 et seq. including:

 

(i) Attorneys;

 

(ii) Members of the clergy;

 

(iii) Medical practitioners;

 

(iv) Social workers;

 

(v) Mental health professionals;

 

(vi) Nursing home staff; assisted living facility staff; adultday care center staff; adult family-care home staff; social worker, or otherprofessional adult care, residential or institutional staff;

 

(vii) State, county or municipal criminal justice employees orlaw enforcement officers; and

 

(viii) Bank, savings and loan or credit union officers, trusteesor employees.

 

(b) A person or agency, including an authorized departmentvolunteer, medical personnel or law enforcement officer who, at the request ofthe department, participates in an investigation required by this act or in anaction that results from that investigation is immune from civil or criminalliability for any act or omission relating to that participation if the personacted in good faith and, if applicable, within the course or scope of theperson's assigned responsibilities or duties.

 

35-20-115. Central registry of adult protection cases; establishment;operation; amendment, expungement or removal of records; classification andexpungement of reports; statement of person accused.

 

(a) The department shall establish and maintain a centralregistry of substantiated adult protection cases under this act.

 

(b) Through the recording of substantiated reports, the centralregistry shall be operated to assist the department to:

 

(i) Immediately identify and locate prior reports of cases ofabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adultto assist in the diagnosis of suspicious circumstances and the assessment ofthe needs of the vulnerable adult and his caregiver;

 

(ii) Continuously monitor the current status of all pendingadult protection cases; and

 

(iii) Evaluate the effectiveness of existing laws and programsthrough the development and analysis of statistical and other information.

 

(c) Upon written application of the department or anysubstantiated person and with the approval of the local law enforcement agencyin adult protection cases, upon good cause shown and upon notice to thedepartment, the subject of the report and all interested parties, thedepartment may amend, expunge or remove any record from the central registry.

 

(d) Any person named as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect,exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult in anysubstantiated report maintained in the central registry shall have the right tohave included in the report a statement concerning the incident giving rise tothe report. Any person seeking to include a statement pursuant to thissubsection shall provide the department with the statement. The departmentshall provide notice to any person identified as a perpetrator of this right tosubmit a statement in any substantiated report maintained in the centralregistry.

 

(e) Any person convicted of, or having pled guilty or nocontest to, a crime which includes the abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult shall have that convictionreported to the department by the court and the report shall be maintained inthe central registry.

 

35-20-116. Access to central registry records pertaining to adultprotection cases; child and vulnerable adult abuse and registry account.

 

(a) Upon appropriate application and for employee or volunteerscreening purposes, the department shall provide to any individual, nursinghome, adult care facility, educational facility, service provider of adultworkshop programs or home health care provider, residential program or anyservice provider of programs in an institution or community-based program, orto any state institution, a record summary concerning abuse, neglect,exploitation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult involving a named individualor shall confirm that no record exists. The applicant shall submit a fee of notto exceed ten dollars ($10.00) as established by the department and proofsatisfactory to the department that the prospective or current employee orvolunteer whose records are being checked consents to the release of theinformation to the applicant. Central registry screening shall be limited tosubstantiated reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of avulnerable adult in which opportunities for due process have been exhaustedunder the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, including an appeal through thedistrict court level. The applicant shall use the information received only forpurposes of screening prospective employees and volunteers who may, throughtheir employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to vulnerableadults. Applicants, their employees or other agents shall not otherwise divulgeor make public any information received under this section. The departmentshall notify any applicant receiving a report under this section that aprospective employee is under investigation, of the final disposition of thatinvestigation or whether an appeal is pending. The department shall notify anyapplicant receiving information under this subsection of any subsequentreclassification of the information pursuant to W.S. 35-20-115(c). Thedepartment shall screen all prospective employees in conformity with theprocedure provided under this subsection.

 

(b) There is created a program administration account to beknown as the child and vulnerable adult abuse registry account. All feescollected under subsection (a) of this section shall be credited to thisaccount.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title35 > Chapter20

CHAPTER 20 - ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES

 

35-20-101. Short title.

 

Thisact may be cited as the "Adult Protective Services Act".

 

35-20-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Abandonment" means leaving a vulnerable adultwithout financial support or the means or ability to obtain food, clothing,shelter or health care;

 

(ii) "Abuse" means the intentional or recklessinfliction, by the vulnerable adult's caregiver, family member or otherindividual of:

 

(A) Injury;

 

(B) Unreasonable confinement which threatens the welfare andwell being of a vulnerable adult;

 

(C) Cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harmor pain to a vulnerable adult; or

 

(D) Photographing vulnerable adults in violation of W.S. 6-4-304(b).

 

(iii) "Administrator" means the director of thedepartment of family services or his designee;

 

(iv) "Caregiver" means any person or agencyresponsible for the care of a vulnerable adult because of:

 

(A) A family relationship;

 

(B) Voluntary assumption of responsibility for care;

 

(C) Court ordered responsibility or placement;

 

(D) Rendering services in an adult workshop or adultresidential program;

 

(E) Rendering services in an institution or in acommunity-based program; or

 

(F) Acceptance of a legal obligation or responsibility to thevulnerable adult through a power of attorney, advanced health care directive orother legal designation.

 

(v) "Court" means the district court in the districtwhere the vulnerable adult resides or is found;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(vii) "Department" means the state department of familyservices or its designee;

 

(viii) "Emergency services" means those services,including physical care and custody in a nonrestrictive environment, necessaryto maintain the vulnerable adult's vital functions and without which servicesthe vulnerable adult would suffer irreparable harm or death;

 

(ix) "Exploitation" means the reckless or intentionalact taken by any person, or any use of the power of attorney, conservatorshipor guardianship of a vulnerable adult, to:

 

(A) Obtain control through deception, harassment, intimidationor undue influence over the vulnerable adult's money, assets or property withthe intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the vulnerable adult ofthe ownership, use, benefit or possession of his money, assets or property; or

 

(B) In the absence of legal authority:

 

(I) Employ the services of a third party for the profit oradvantage of the person or another person to the detriment of a vulnerableadult;

 

(II) Force, compel, coerce or entice a vulnerable adult toperform services for the profit or advantage of another against the will of thevulnerable adult.

 

(x) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess, Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xi) "Neglect" means the deprivation of, or failure toprovide, the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical and mentalhealth care, other care and prescribed medication as necessary to maintain avulnerable adult's life or health, or which may result in a life-threateningsituation. The withholding of health care from a vulnerable adult is notneglect if:

 

(A) Treatment is given in good faith by spiritual means alone,through prayer, by a duly accredited practitioner in accordance with the tenetsand practices of a recognized church or religious denomination;

 

(B) The withholding of health care is in accordance with adeclaration executed pursuant to W.S. 35-22-401 through 35-22-416; or

 

(C) Care is provided by a hospice licensed in accordance withand pursuant to W.S. 35-2-901 through 35-2-910.

 

(xii) "Protective services" means those emergencyservices provided by the department to assist vulnerable adults to prevent orterminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment until thevulnerable adult no longer needs those services. These services may includesocial casework, case management, home care, day care, social services, healthcare, psychiatric or health evaluations and other emergency services consistentwith this act;

 

(xiii) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xiv) "Capacity to consent" means the ability tounderstand and appreciate the nature and consequences of making decisionsconcerning one's person, including, provisions for health or mental healthcare, food, shelter, clothing, safety or financial affairs. This determinationmay be based on assessment or investigative findings, observation or medical ormental health evaluations;

 

(xv) "Injury" means any harm, including disfigurement,impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising, laceration, bleeding, burn,fracture or dislocation of any bone, subdural hematoma, malnutrition,dehydration or pressure sores;

 

(xvi) "Mental disability" means a condition causingmental dysfunction resulting in an inability to manage resources, carry out theactivities of daily living or protect oneself from neglect, abuse, exploitationor hazardous situations without assistance from others. Whether or not a mentaldysfunction of such degree exists is subject to an evaluation by a licensedpsychologist, psychiatrist or other qualified licensed mental healthprofessional or licensed physician, if disputed;

 

(xvii) "Self neglect" means when a vulnerable adult isunable, due to physical or mental disability, or refuses to perform essentialself-care tasks, including providing essential food, clothing, shelter ormedical care, obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physicalhealth, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety, or managingfinancial affairs;

 

(xviii) "Vulnerable adult" means any person eighteen (18)years of age or older who is unable to manage and take care of himself or hismoney, assets or property without assistance as a result of advanced age orphysical or mental disability;

 

(xix) "Substantiated report" means any report ofabandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect pursuant to this actthat is determined upon investigation to establish that credible evidence ofthe alleged abandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect exists;

 

(xx) "Intimidation" means the communication by word oract to a vulnerable adult that he, his family, friends or pets will be deprivedof food, shelter, clothing, supervision, prescribed medication, physical ormental health care and other medical care necessary to maintain a vulnerableadult's health, financial support or will suffer physical violence;

 

(xxi) "This act" means W.S. 35-20-101 through35-20-116.

 

35-20-103. Reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation orabandonment of vulnerable adult; reports maintained in central registry.

 

(a) Any person or agency who knows or has reasonable cause tobelieve that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned or is committing self neglect shall reportthe information immediately to a law enforcement agency or the department.Anyone who in good faith makes a report pursuant to this section is immune fromcivil liability for making the report.

 

(b) The report may be made orally or in writing. The reportshall provide to law enforcement or the department the following, to the extentavailable:

 

(i) The name, age and address of the vulnerable adult;

 

(ii) The name and address of any person responsible for thevulnerable adult's care;

 

(iii) The nature and extent of the vulnerable adult's condition;

 

(iv) The basis of the reporter's knowledge;

 

(v) The names and conditions of the other residents, if thevulnerable adult resides in a facility with other vulnerable adults;

 

(vi) An evaluation of the persons responsible for the care ofthe residents, if the vulnerable adult resides in a facility with othervulnerable adults;

 

(vii) The adequacy of the facility environment;

 

(viii) Any evidence of previous injuries;

 

(ix) Any collaborative information; and

 

(x) Any other relevant information.

 

(c) After receipt of a report that a vulnerable adult issuspected of being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated orabandoned or is committing self neglect, the department shall notify lawenforcement and may request assistance from appropriate health or mental healthagencies.

 

(d) If a law enforcement officer determines that a vulnerableadult is abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or iscommitting self neglect, he shall notify the department concerning thepotential need of the vulnerable adult for protective services.

 

(e) Any report or notification to the department that avulnerable adult is, or is suspected of being, abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, shall be investigated,a determination shall be made whether protective services are necessary and,whether an individual instruction exists under W.S. 35-22-401 through35-22-416. If determined necessary, protective services shall be furnished bythe department within three (3) days from the time the report or notice isreceived by the department. The investigation may include a visit to thefacility in which the vulnerable adult resides and an interview with thevulnerable adult.

 

(f) Each substantiated report of abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult pursuant to this act shall beentered and maintained within the central registry of vulnerable adultprotection cases under W.S. 35-20-115.

 

35-20-104. Department to coordinate services; rules and regulations.

 

(a) The department shall:

 

(i) Coordinate a protective services program consistent withthis act, with the goal of ensuring that every vulnerable adult in need ofprotective services will have access to protective services;

 

(ii) Adopt rules, regulations and standards for servicesprovided by the department necessary to effect the provisions and purposes ofthis act;

 

(iii) Develop and maintain statistical data which set forthreferrals by type of incidence and disposition pursuant to this act but whichdo not contain personally identifiable information;

 

(iv) Provide appropriate training to all investigative agencypersonnel;

 

(v) Assign designated workers for adult protective serviceswithin the department to carry out the activities of this chapter;

 

(vi) Develop, facilitate and participate in localmultidisciplinary community-based adult protection teams that discuss adultprotection issues.

 

35-20-105. Protective services; no services without consent;responsibility for costs.

 

(a) The department may furnish protective services in responseto a request for assistance from the vulnerable adult, his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(b) Except under conditions provided for in W.S. 35-20-106 novulnerable adult shall be required to accept protective services without hisconsent or, if he lacks the capacity to consent, the consent of his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(c) Costs incurred to furnish protective services, includingbut not limited to fees for the services of a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator, shall be paid by the department unless:

 

(i) The vulnerable adult is eligible for protective servicesfrom another governmental agency or any other source; or

 

(ii) A court appoints a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator and orders that the costs be paid from the vulnerable adult'sestate.

 

35-20-106. Petition by department when caregiver refuses to allowservices; injunction.

 

(a) When a vulnerable adult needs protective services and thecaregiver refuses to allow the provision of those services, the department,through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the courtfor an order enjoining the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services.

 

(b) The petition shall allege facts sufficient to show that thevulnerable adult needs protective services, that he consents or lacks thecapacity to consent to receive the services and that the caregiver refuses toallow the protective services.

 

(c) If the court finds the allegations of the petition to betrue by a preponderance of the evidence, it may:

 

(i) Enjoin the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services; and

 

(ii) Order the department to provide the protective services.

 

35-20-107. Emergency services.

 

(a) If an emergency exists and the department has reasonablecause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, selfneglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment and lacks the capacity toconsent to the provision of protective services, the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court for an orderfor emergency protective services.

 

(b) The court shall give notice to the vulnerable adult who isthe subject of the petition at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to thehearing. The court may dispense with notice if it finds that immediate orreasonably foreseeable physical harm to the vulnerable adult will result fromthe twenty-four (24) hour delay and that reasonable attempts have been made togive notice.

 

(c) The allegations of the petition shall be proved by apreponderance of the evidence. If the court finds that the vulnerable adulthas been or is being abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, oris committing self neglect, that an emergency exists and that the vulnerableadult lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of services, the court mayorder the department to provide protective services on an emergency basis. Thecourt shall order only those services necessary to remove the conditionscreating the emergency and shall specifically designate the authorizedservices. The order for emergency protective services shall remain in effectfor a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours. The order may be extendedfor an additional seventy-two (72) hour period if the court finds that theextension is necessary to remove the emergency. The vulnerable adult, hisagent, his court appointed representative or the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court to set asideor modify the order at any time.

 

(d) The vulnerable adult may be placed by the court in ahospital or other suitable facility which is appropriate under thecircumstances. The person or agency in whose care the vulnerable adult isplaced shall immediately notify the person responsible for the care and custodyof the vulnerable adult, if known, of the placement.

 

35-20-108. Records confidential; exception.

 

Exceptas provided under W.S. 35-20-116, records of the department or other agency orthe court pertaining to a vulnerable adult receiving protective services underthis act are not open to public inspection. Information contained in thoserecords shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner that will identifyany individual. The records may be made available for inspection only uponapplication to the court pursuant to W.S. 35-20-112 for good cause shown.

 

35-20-109. Repealed By Laws 2002, Ch. 86, 3.

 

35-20-110. When access to vulnerable adult denied; injunction.

 

If access to the vulnerable adult is deniedto law enforcement or the department seeking to investigate a report of abuse,neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect of avulnerable adult, the investigator may seek an injunction to preventinterference with the investigation. The court may issue the injunction if itfinds that the person whose duty it is to investigate the report is actingwithin the scope of his duty and has been unreasonably denied access to thevulnerable adult.

 

35-20-111. Duty to report.

 

(a) The duty to report imposed by W.S. 35-20-103 applieswithout exception to a person or agency who knows, or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have tobelieve, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect.

 

(b) Any person or agency who knows or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have to believethat a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, and knowingly fails toreport in accordance with this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable byimprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

 

35-20-112. Confidentiality of records; penalties; access toinformation.

 

(a) All records concerning reports and investigations ofvulnerable adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment orself neglect are confidential except as provided by W.S. 35-20-116. Any personwho intentionally violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanorpunishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not morethan seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.

 

(b) The following records are confidential and not subject todisclosure under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205:

 

(i) A report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation,abandonment or self neglect under this act;

 

(ii) The identity of the person making the report; and

 

(iii) Except as provided by this section, all files, reports,records, communications, and working papers used or developed in aninvestigation made under this act or in providing services as a result of aninvestigation.

 

(c) Upon application made in the manner and form prescribed bythe department, the department may give access to records otherwiseconfidential under this section to any of the following persons or agencies forpurposes directly related with the administration of this act:

 

(i) A local adult protective agency;

 

(ii) A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, conservator,guardian, adult protection team or attorney representing the vulnerable adultwho is the subject of the report;

 

(iii) A physician or surgeon who is treating a vulnerable adult;and

 

(iv) Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents ofadult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment.

 

(d) Motions for access to records concerning vulnerable adultabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect held bythe state agency or local protective agency shall be made with the districtcourt in the county where the vulnerable adult resides. A court may orderdisclosure of confidential records only if:

 

(i) A motion is filed with the court requesting:

 

(A) Release of the records; and

 

(B) A hearing on the request for release of the records; or

 

(C) All interested parties stipulate to the release.

 

(ii) The motion for hearing is served on the department orinvestigating state agency and each interested party; and

 

(iii) The court determines after the hearing and an in-camerareview of the records that disclosure is necessary for the determination of allissues, in which case disclosure shall be limited to an in-camera inspection,or specifically limited disclosure, unless the court finds public disclosure isnecessary.

 

(e) The department or investigating state agency may establishprocedures to exchange with another state agency or governmental entity recordsthat are necessary for the department, state agency or entity to properlyexecute its respective duties and responsibilities to provide services tovulnerable adults under this act or other law. An exchange of records underthis subsection does not affect whether the records are subject to disclosureunder W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205.

 

(f) A physician or person in charge of an institution, school,facility or agency making a report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall receive, uponwritten application to the state agency, a written summary of the recordsconcerning the subject of the report.

 

(g) Any person, agency or institution given access to recordsconcerning the subject of the report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall not divulge ormake public any records except as required for court proceedings.

 

(h) Confidential records may be disclosed only for a purposeconsistent with this act and as provided by department or investigating stateagency rules and regulations and applicable federal law.

 

35-20-113. False report; penalty.

 

A person commits a misdemeanor punishableby imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, if he reports information pursuant tothis act and knows or has reason to know the information is false or lacksfactual foundation.

 

35-20-114. Immunity.

 

(a) A person or agency filing a report under this act ortestifying or otherwise participating in any judicial proceeding arising from apetition, report, or investigation is immune from civil or criminal liabilityon account of the person's petition, report, testimony or participation, unlessthe person knowingly or negligently reports information that is false or lacksfactual foundation. The immunity provided under this subsection applies only tothose persons whose professional communications are generally confidential orsubject to the Wyoming Public Records Act, W.S. 16-4-201 et seq. including:

 

(i) Attorneys;

 

(ii) Members of the clergy;

 

(iii) Medical practitioners;

 

(iv) Social workers;

 

(v) Mental health professionals;

 

(vi) Nursing home staff; assisted living facility staff; adultday care center staff; adult family-care home staff; social worker, or otherprofessional adult care, residential or institutional staff;

 

(vii) State, county or municipal criminal justice employees orlaw enforcement officers; and

 

(viii) Bank, savings and loan or credit union officers, trusteesor employees.

 

(b) A person or agency, including an authorized departmentvolunteer, medical personnel or law enforcement officer who, at the request ofthe department, participates in an investigation required by this act or in anaction that results from that investigation is immune from civil or criminalliability for any act or omission relating to that participation if the personacted in good faith and, if applicable, within the course or scope of theperson's assigned responsibilities or duties.

 

35-20-115. Central registry of adult protection cases; establishment;operation; amendment, expungement or removal of records; classification andexpungement of reports; statement of person accused.

 

(a) The department shall establish and maintain a centralregistry of substantiated adult protection cases under this act.

 

(b) Through the recording of substantiated reports, the centralregistry shall be operated to assist the department to:

 

(i) Immediately identify and locate prior reports of cases ofabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adultto assist in the diagnosis of suspicious circumstances and the assessment ofthe needs of the vulnerable adult and his caregiver;

 

(ii) Continuously monitor the current status of all pendingadult protection cases; and

 

(iii) Evaluate the effectiveness of existing laws and programsthrough the development and analysis of statistical and other information.

 

(c) Upon written application of the department or anysubstantiated person and with the approval of the local law enforcement agencyin adult protection cases, upon good cause shown and upon notice to thedepartment, the subject of the report and all interested parties, thedepartment may amend, expunge or remove any record from the central registry.

 

(d) Any person named as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect,exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult in anysubstantiated report maintained in the central registry shall have the right tohave included in the report a statement concerning the incident giving rise tothe report. Any person seeking to include a statement pursuant to thissubsection shall provide the department with the statement. The departmentshall provide notice to any person identified as a perpetrator of this right tosubmit a statement in any substantiated report maintained in the centralregistry.

 

(e) Any person convicted of, or having pled guilty or nocontest to, a crime which includes the abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult shall have that convictionreported to the department by the court and the report shall be maintained inthe central registry.

 

35-20-116. Access to central registry records pertaining to adultprotection cases; child and vulnerable adult abuse and registry account.

 

(a) Upon appropriate application and for employee or volunteerscreening purposes, the department shall provide to any individual, nursinghome, adult care facility, educational facility, service provider of adultworkshop programs or home health care provider, residential program or anyservice provider of programs in an institution or community-based program, orto any state institution, a record summary concerning abuse, neglect,exploitation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult involving a named individualor shall confirm that no record exists. The applicant shall submit a fee of notto exceed ten dollars ($10.00) as established by the department and proofsatisfactory to the department that the prospective or current employee orvolunteer whose records are being checked consents to the release of theinformation to the applicant. Central registry screening shall be limited tosubstantiated reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of avulnerable adult in which opportunities for due process have been exhaustedunder the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, including an appeal through thedistrict court level. The applicant shall use the information received only forpurposes of screening prospective employees and volunteers who may, throughtheir employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to vulnerableadults. Applicants, their employees or other agents shall not otherwise divulgeor make public any information received under this section. The departmentshall notify any applicant receiving a report under this section that aprospective employee is under investigation, of the final disposition of thatinvestigation or whether an appeal is pending. The department shall notify anyapplicant receiving information under this subsection of any subsequentreclassification of the information pursuant to W.S. 35-20-115(c). Thedepartment shall screen all prospective employees in conformity with theprocedure provided under this subsection.

 

(b) There is created a program administration account to beknown as the child and vulnerable adult abuse registry account. All feescollected under subsection (a) of this section shall be credited to thisaccount.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title35 > Chapter20

CHAPTER 20 - ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES

 

35-20-101. Short title.

 

Thisact may be cited as the "Adult Protective Services Act".

 

35-20-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Abandonment" means leaving a vulnerable adultwithout financial support or the means or ability to obtain food, clothing,shelter or health care;

 

(ii) "Abuse" means the intentional or recklessinfliction, by the vulnerable adult's caregiver, family member or otherindividual of:

 

(A) Injury;

 

(B) Unreasonable confinement which threatens the welfare andwell being of a vulnerable adult;

 

(C) Cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harmor pain to a vulnerable adult; or

 

(D) Photographing vulnerable adults in violation of W.S. 6-4-304(b).

 

(iii) "Administrator" means the director of thedepartment of family services or his designee;

 

(iv) "Caregiver" means any person or agencyresponsible for the care of a vulnerable adult because of:

 

(A) A family relationship;

 

(B) Voluntary assumption of responsibility for care;

 

(C) Court ordered responsibility or placement;

 

(D) Rendering services in an adult workshop or adultresidential program;

 

(E) Rendering services in an institution or in acommunity-based program; or

 

(F) Acceptance of a legal obligation or responsibility to thevulnerable adult through a power of attorney, advanced health care directive orother legal designation.

 

(v) "Court" means the district court in the districtwhere the vulnerable adult resides or is found;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(vii) "Department" means the state department of familyservices or its designee;

 

(viii) "Emergency services" means those services,including physical care and custody in a nonrestrictive environment, necessaryto maintain the vulnerable adult's vital functions and without which servicesthe vulnerable adult would suffer irreparable harm or death;

 

(ix) "Exploitation" means the reckless or intentionalact taken by any person, or any use of the power of attorney, conservatorshipor guardianship of a vulnerable adult, to:

 

(A) Obtain control through deception, harassment, intimidationor undue influence over the vulnerable adult's money, assets or property withthe intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the vulnerable adult ofthe ownership, use, benefit or possession of his money, assets or property; or

 

(B) In the absence of legal authority:

 

(I) Employ the services of a third party for the profit oradvantage of the person or another person to the detriment of a vulnerableadult;

 

(II) Force, compel, coerce or entice a vulnerable adult toperform services for the profit or advantage of another against the will of thevulnerable adult.

 

(x) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess, Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xi) "Neglect" means the deprivation of, or failure toprovide, the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical and mentalhealth care, other care and prescribed medication as necessary to maintain avulnerable adult's life or health, or which may result in a life-threateningsituation. The withholding of health care from a vulnerable adult is notneglect if:

 

(A) Treatment is given in good faith by spiritual means alone,through prayer, by a duly accredited practitioner in accordance with the tenetsand practices of a recognized church or religious denomination;

 

(B) The withholding of health care is in accordance with adeclaration executed pursuant to W.S. 35-22-401 through 35-22-416; or

 

(C) Care is provided by a hospice licensed in accordance withand pursuant to W.S. 35-2-901 through 35-2-910.

 

(xii) "Protective services" means those emergencyservices provided by the department to assist vulnerable adults to prevent orterminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment until thevulnerable adult no longer needs those services. These services may includesocial casework, case management, home care, day care, social services, healthcare, psychiatric or health evaluations and other emergency services consistentwith this act;

 

(xiii) Repealed By Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, 3.

 

(xiv) "Capacity to consent" means the ability tounderstand and appreciate the nature and consequences of making decisionsconcerning one's person, including, provisions for health or mental healthcare, food, shelter, clothing, safety or financial affairs. This determinationmay be based on assessment or investigative findings, observation or medical ormental health evaluations;

 

(xv) "Injury" means any harm, including disfigurement,impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising, laceration, bleeding, burn,fracture or dislocation of any bone, subdural hematoma, malnutrition,dehydration or pressure sores;

 

(xvi) "Mental disability" means a condition causingmental dysfunction resulting in an inability to manage resources, carry out theactivities of daily living or protect oneself from neglect, abuse, exploitationor hazardous situations without assistance from others. Whether or not a mentaldysfunction of such degree exists is subject to an evaluation by a licensedpsychologist, psychiatrist or other qualified licensed mental healthprofessional or licensed physician, if disputed;

 

(xvii) "Self neglect" means when a vulnerable adult isunable, due to physical or mental disability, or refuses to perform essentialself-care tasks, including providing essential food, clothing, shelter ormedical care, obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physicalhealth, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety, or managingfinancial affairs;

 

(xviii) "Vulnerable adult" means any person eighteen (18)years of age or older who is unable to manage and take care of himself or hismoney, assets or property without assistance as a result of advanced age orphysical or mental disability;

 

(xix) "Substantiated report" means any report ofabandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect pursuant to this actthat is determined upon investigation to establish that credible evidence ofthe alleged abandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect exists;

 

(xx) "Intimidation" means the communication by word oract to a vulnerable adult that he, his family, friends or pets will be deprivedof food, shelter, clothing, supervision, prescribed medication, physical ormental health care and other medical care necessary to maintain a vulnerableadult's health, financial support or will suffer physical violence;

 

(xxi) "This act" means W.S. 35-20-101 through35-20-116.

 

35-20-103. Reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation orabandonment of vulnerable adult; reports maintained in central registry.

 

(a) Any person or agency who knows or has reasonable cause tobelieve that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned or is committing self neglect shall reportthe information immediately to a law enforcement agency or the department.Anyone who in good faith makes a report pursuant to this section is immune fromcivil liability for making the report.

 

(b) The report may be made orally or in writing. The reportshall provide to law enforcement or the department the following, to the extentavailable:

 

(i) The name, age and address of the vulnerable adult;

 

(ii) The name and address of any person responsible for thevulnerable adult's care;

 

(iii) The nature and extent of the vulnerable adult's condition;

 

(iv) The basis of the reporter's knowledge;

 

(v) The names and conditions of the other residents, if thevulnerable adult resides in a facility with other vulnerable adults;

 

(vi) An evaluation of the persons responsible for the care ofthe residents, if the vulnerable adult resides in a facility with othervulnerable adults;

 

(vii) The adequacy of the facility environment;

 

(viii) Any evidence of previous injuries;

 

(ix) Any collaborative information; and

 

(x) Any other relevant information.

 

(c) After receipt of a report that a vulnerable adult issuspected of being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated orabandoned or is committing self neglect, the department shall notify lawenforcement and may request assistance from appropriate health or mental healthagencies.

 

(d) If a law enforcement officer determines that a vulnerableadult is abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or iscommitting self neglect, he shall notify the department concerning thepotential need of the vulnerable adult for protective services.

 

(e) Any report or notification to the department that avulnerable adult is, or is suspected of being, abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, shall be investigated,a determination shall be made whether protective services are necessary and,whether an individual instruction exists under W.S. 35-22-401 through35-22-416. If determined necessary, protective services shall be furnished bythe department within three (3) days from the time the report or notice isreceived by the department. The investigation may include a visit to thefacility in which the vulnerable adult resides and an interview with thevulnerable adult.

 

(f) Each substantiated report of abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult pursuant to this act shall beentered and maintained within the central registry of vulnerable adultprotection cases under W.S. 35-20-115.

 

35-20-104. Department to coordinate services; rules and regulations.

 

(a) The department shall:

 

(i) Coordinate a protective services program consistent withthis act, with the goal of ensuring that every vulnerable adult in need ofprotective services will have access to protective services;

 

(ii) Adopt rules, regulations and standards for servicesprovided by the department necessary to effect the provisions and purposes ofthis act;

 

(iii) Develop and maintain statistical data which set forthreferrals by type of incidence and disposition pursuant to this act but whichdo not contain personally identifiable information;

 

(iv) Provide appropriate training to all investigative agencypersonnel;

 

(v) Assign designated workers for adult protective serviceswithin the department to carry out the activities of this chapter;

 

(vi) Develop, facilitate and participate in localmultidisciplinary community-based adult protection teams that discuss adultprotection issues.

 

35-20-105. Protective services; no services without consent;responsibility for costs.

 

(a) The department may furnish protective services in responseto a request for assistance from the vulnerable adult, his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(b) Except under conditions provided for in W.S. 35-20-106 novulnerable adult shall be required to accept protective services without hisconsent or, if he lacks the capacity to consent, the consent of his caregiver,conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.

 

(c) Costs incurred to furnish protective services, includingbut not limited to fees for the services of a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator, shall be paid by the department unless:

 

(i) The vulnerable adult is eligible for protective servicesfrom another governmental agency or any other source; or

 

(ii) A court appoints a guardian ad litem, guardian orconservator and orders that the costs be paid from the vulnerable adult'sestate.

 

35-20-106. Petition by department when caregiver refuses to allowservices; injunction.

 

(a) When a vulnerable adult needs protective services and thecaregiver refuses to allow the provision of those services, the department,through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the courtfor an order enjoining the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services.

 

(b) The petition shall allege facts sufficient to show that thevulnerable adult needs protective services, that he consents or lacks thecapacity to consent to receive the services and that the caregiver refuses toallow the protective services.

 

(c) If the court finds the allegations of the petition to betrue by a preponderance of the evidence, it may:

 

(i) Enjoin the caregiver from interfering with the provision ofprotective services; and

 

(ii) Order the department to provide the protective services.

 

35-20-107. Emergency services.

 

(a) If an emergency exists and the department has reasonablecause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, selfneglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment and lacks the capacity toconsent to the provision of protective services, the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court for an orderfor emergency protective services.

 

(b) The court shall give notice to the vulnerable adult who isthe subject of the petition at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to thehearing. The court may dispense with notice if it finds that immediate orreasonably foreseeable physical harm to the vulnerable adult will result fromthe twenty-four (24) hour delay and that reasonable attempts have been made togive notice.

 

(c) The allegations of the petition shall be proved by apreponderance of the evidence. If the court finds that the vulnerable adulthas been or is being abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, oris committing self neglect, that an emergency exists and that the vulnerableadult lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of services, the court mayorder the department to provide protective services on an emergency basis. Thecourt shall order only those services necessary to remove the conditionscreating the emergency and shall specifically designate the authorizedservices. The order for emergency protective services shall remain in effectfor a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours. The order may be extendedfor an additional seventy-two (72) hour period if the court finds that theextension is necessary to remove the emergency. The vulnerable adult, hisagent, his court appointed representative or the department, through theattorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court to set asideor modify the order at any time.

 

(d) The vulnerable adult may be placed by the court in ahospital or other suitable facility which is appropriate under thecircumstances. The person or agency in whose care the vulnerable adult isplaced shall immediately notify the person responsible for the care and custodyof the vulnerable adult, if known, of the placement.

 

35-20-108. Records confidential; exception.

 

Exceptas provided under W.S. 35-20-116, records of the department or other agency orthe court pertaining to a vulnerable adult receiving protective services underthis act are not open to public inspection. Information contained in thoserecords shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner that will identifyany individual. The records may be made available for inspection only uponapplication to the court pursuant to W.S. 35-20-112 for good cause shown.

 

35-20-109. Repealed By Laws 2002, Ch. 86, 3.

 

35-20-110. When access to vulnerable adult denied; injunction.

 

If access to the vulnerable adult is deniedto law enforcement or the department seeking to investigate a report of abuse,neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect of avulnerable adult, the investigator may seek an injunction to preventinterference with the investigation. The court may issue the injunction if itfinds that the person whose duty it is to investigate the report is actingwithin the scope of his duty and has been unreasonably denied access to thevulnerable adult.

 

35-20-111. Duty to report.

 

(a) The duty to report imposed by W.S. 35-20-103 applieswithout exception to a person or agency who knows, or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have tobelieve, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected,exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect.

 

(b) Any person or agency who knows or has sufficient knowledgewhich a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have to believethat a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, exploited,intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, and knowingly fails toreport in accordance with this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable byimprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

 

35-20-112. Confidentiality of records; penalties; access toinformation.

 

(a) All records concerning reports and investigations ofvulnerable adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment orself neglect are confidential except as provided by W.S. 35-20-116. Any personwho intentionally violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanorpunishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not morethan seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.

 

(b) The following records are confidential and not subject todisclosure under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205:

 

(i) A report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation,abandonment or self neglect under this act;

 

(ii) The identity of the person making the report; and

 

(iii) Except as provided by this section, all files, reports,records, communications, and working papers used or developed in aninvestigation made under this act or in providing services as a result of aninvestigation.

 

(c) Upon application made in the manner and form prescribed bythe department, the department may give access to records otherwiseconfidential under this section to any of the following persons or agencies forpurposes directly related with the administration of this act:

 

(i) A local adult protective agency;

 

(ii) A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, conservator,guardian, adult protection team or attorney representing the vulnerable adultwho is the subject of the report;

 

(iii) A physician or surgeon who is treating a vulnerable adult;and

 

(iv) Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents ofadult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment.

 

(d) Motions for access to records concerning vulnerable adultabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect held bythe state agency or local protective agency shall be made with the districtcourt in the county where the vulnerable adult resides. A court may orderdisclosure of confidential records only if:

 

(i) A motion is filed with the court requesting:

 

(A) Release of the records; and

 

(B) A hearing on the request for release of the records; or

 

(C) All interested parties stipulate to the release.

 

(ii) The motion for hearing is served on the department orinvestigating state agency and each interested party; and

 

(iii) The court determines after the hearing and an in-camerareview of the records that disclosure is necessary for the determination of allissues, in which case disclosure shall be limited to an in-camera inspection,or specifically limited disclosure, unless the court finds public disclosure isnecessary.

 

(e) The department or investigating state agency may establishprocedures to exchange with another state agency or governmental entity recordsthat are necessary for the department, state agency or entity to properlyexecute its respective duties and responsibilities to provide services tovulnerable adults under this act or other law. An exchange of records underthis subsection does not affect whether the records are subject to disclosureunder W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205.

 

(f) A physician or person in charge of an institution, school,facility or agency making a report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall receive, uponwritten application to the state agency, a written summary of the recordsconcerning the subject of the report.

 

(g) Any person, agency or institution given access to recordsconcerning the subject of the report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall not divulge ormake public any records except as required for court proceedings.

 

(h) Confidential records may be disclosed only for a purposeconsistent with this act and as provided by department or investigating stateagency rules and regulations and applicable federal law.

 

35-20-113. False report; penalty.

 

A person commits a misdemeanor punishableby imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than onethousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, if he reports information pursuant tothis act and knows or has reason to know the information is false or lacksfactual foundation.

 

35-20-114. Immunity.

 

(a) A person or agency filing a report under this act ortestifying or otherwise participating in any judicial proceeding arising from apetition, report, or investigation is immune from civil or criminal liabilityon account of the person's petition, report, testimony or participation, unlessthe person knowingly or negligently reports information that is false or lacksfactual foundation. The immunity provided under this subsection applies only tothose persons whose professional communications are generally confidential orsubject to the Wyoming Public Records Act, W.S. 16-4-201 et seq. including:

 

(i) Attorneys;

 

(ii) Members of the clergy;

 

(iii) Medical practitioners;

 

(iv) Social workers;

 

(v) Mental health professionals;

 

(vi) Nursing home staff; assisted living facility staff; adultday care center staff; adult family-care home staff; social worker, or otherprofessional adult care, residential or institutional staff;

 

(vii) State, county or municipal criminal justice employees orlaw enforcement officers; and

 

(viii) Bank, savings and loan or credit union officers, trusteesor employees.

 

(b) A person or agency, including an authorized departmentvolunteer, medical personnel or law enforcement officer who, at the request ofthe department, participates in an investigation required by this act or in anaction that results from that investigation is immune from civil or criminalliability for any act or omission relating to that participation if the personacted in good faith and, if applicable, within the course or scope of theperson's assigned responsibilities or duties.

 

35-20-115. Central registry of adult protection cases; establishment;operation; amendment, expungement or removal of records; classification andexpungement of reports; statement of person accused.

 

(a) The department shall establish and maintain a centralregistry of substantiated adult protection cases under this act.

 

(b) Through the recording of substantiated reports, the centralregistry shall be operated to assist the department to:

 

(i) Immediately identify and locate prior reports of cases ofabuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adultto assist in the diagnosis of suspicious circumstances and the assessment ofthe needs of the vulnerable adult and his caregiver;

 

(ii) Continuously monitor the current status of all pendingadult protection cases; and

 

(iii) Evaluate the effectiveness of existing laws and programsthrough the development and analysis of statistical and other information.

 

(c) Upon written application of the department or anysubstantiated person and with the approval of the local law enforcement agencyin adult protection cases, upon good cause shown and upon notice to thedepartment, the subject of the report and all interested parties, thedepartment may amend, expunge or remove any record from the central registry.

 

(d) Any person named as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect,exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult in anysubstantiated report maintained in the central registry shall have the right tohave included in the report a statement concerning the incident giving rise tothe report. Any person seeking to include a statement pursuant to thissubsection shall provide the department with the statement. The departmentshall provide notice to any person identified as a perpetrator of this right tosubmit a statement in any substantiated report maintained in the centralregistry.

 

(e) Any person convicted of, or having pled guilty or nocontest to, a crime which includes the abuse, neglect, exploitation,intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult shall have that convictionreported to the department by the court and the report shall be maintained inthe central registry.

 

35-20-116. Access to central registry records pertaining to adultprotection cases; child and vulnerable adult abuse and registry account.

 

(a) Upon appropriate application and for employee or volunteerscreening purposes, the department shall provide to any individual, nursinghome, adult care facility, educational facility, service provider of adultworkshop programs or home health care provider, residential program or anyservice provider of programs in an institution or community-based program, orto any state institution, a record summary concerning abuse, neglect,exploitation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult involving a named individualor shall confirm that no record exists. The applicant shall submit a fee of notto exceed ten dollars ($10.00) as established by the department and proofsatisfactory to the department that the prospective or current employee orvolunteer whose records are being checked consents to the release of theinformation to the applicant. Central registry screening shall be limited tosubstantiated reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of avulnerable adult in which opportunities for due process have been exhaustedunder the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, including an appeal through thedistrict court level. The applicant shall use the information received only forpurposes of screening prospective employees and volunteers who may, throughtheir employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to vulnerableadults. Applicants, their employees or other agents shall not otherwise divulgeor make public any information received under this section. The departmentshall notify any applicant receiving a report under this section that aprospective employee is under investigation, of the final disposition of thatinvestigation or whether an appeal is pending. The department shall notify anyapplicant receiving information under this subsection of any subsequentreclassification of the information pursuant to W.S. 35-20-115(c). Thedepartment shall screen all prospective employees in conformity with theprocedure provided under this subsection.

 

(b) There is created a program administration account to beknown as the child and vulnerable adult abuse registry account. All feescollected under subsection (a) of this section shall be credited to thisaccount.

 

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