Bill Text - HB1165 (2016)

Changing "incapacitated" to "vulnerable" in the adult protective services laws.


Revision: Dec. 14, 2015, midnight

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HB 1165 - AS INTRODUCED

 

2016 SESSION

\t16-2394

\t01/09

 

HOUSE BILL\t1165

 

AN ACT\tchanging "incapacitated" to "vulnerable" in the adult protective services laws.

 

SPONSORS:\tRep. Rogers, Merr. 28; Rep. S. Schmidt, Carr. 6; Rep. MacKay, Merr. 14; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock. 5; Rep. P. Brown, Hills. 31; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Kelly, Dist 10

 

COMMITTEE:\tChildren and Family Law

 

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ANALYSIS

 

\tThis bill changes the term "incapacitated" adult to "vulnerable" adult in the laws governing protective services to such adults.

 

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Explanation:\tMatter added to current law appears in bold italics.

\t\tMatter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

\t\tMatter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

\t16-2394

\t01/09

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen

 

AN ACT\tchanging "incapacitated" to "vulnerable" in the adult protective services laws.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

\t1  Elderly and Adult Services; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend RSA 161-F:43 to read as follows:

\t161-F:43  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

\t\tI.  "Protective services'' means services and action which will, through voluntary agreement or through appropriate court action, prevent neglect, abuse or exploitation of [incapacitated] vulnerable adults.  Such services shall include, but not be limited to, supervision, guidance, counseling and, when necessary, assistance in the securing of nonhazardous living accommodations, and mental and physical examinations.

\t\tII.  "Abuse'' means any one of the following:

\t\t\t(a)  "Emotional abuse'' means the misuse of power, authority, or both, verbal harassment, or unreasonable confinement which results or could result in the mental anguish or emotional distress of [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult.

\t\t\t(b)  "Physical abuse'' means the use of physical force which results or could result in physical injury to[ an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult.

\t\t\t(c)  "Sexual abuse'' means contact or interaction of a sexual nature involving [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult without his or her informed consent.

\t\tIII.  "Neglect'' means an act or omission which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain the minimum mental, emotional or physical health and safety of [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult.

\t\tIV.  "Exploitation'' means the illegal use of [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult's person or property for another person's profit or advantage, or the breach of a fiduciary relationship through the use of a person or a person's property for any purpose not in the proper and lawful execution of a trust, including, but not limited to, situations where a person obtains money, property, or services from [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.

\t\tV.  "Serious bodily injury'' means any harm to the body which causes or could cause severe, permanent or protracted loss of or impairment to the health or of the function of any part of the body.

\t\tVI.  "Self-neglect'' means an act or omission by [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain his or her minimum mental, emotional or physical health and safety.

\t\tVII.  "[Incapacitated]" "Vulnerable"' means that the physical, mental, or emotional ability of a person is such that he or she is unable to manage personal, home, or financial affairs in his or her own best interest, or he or she is unable to act or unable to delegate responsibility to a responsible caretaker or caregiver.

\t2  Elderly and Adult Services; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend RSA 161-F:49, I(a) to read as follows:

\t\t\t(a)  "Individual'' means an individual, 18 years of age or older, found eligible for or receiving services pursuant to RSA 171-A, RSA 135-C:13, RSA 135-C:14, RSA 161-E, RSA 161-I, or programs licensed under RSA 151:2, I(b), (e), or (f), or who is [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult, as defined under RSA 161-F:43, VII.

\t3  Elderly and Adult Services; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend RSA 161-F:49, I(c) to read as follows:

\t\t\t(c)  "Perpetrator'' means a person who, following a protective investigation completed in accordance with RSA 161-F:42 through RSA 161-F:57, is found to have abused, neglected, or exploited [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult.

\t4  Elderly and Adult Services; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend RSA 161-F:51 to read as follows:

\t161-F:51  Duties and Responsibilities.

\t\tI.  The commissioner or his or her authorized representative, upon the substantiation of a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult, shall provide, when necessary, protective services to such adults.

\t\tII.  The commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall refer all cases of serious bodily injury to [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult known or suspected to be the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to local law enforcement, the department of justice or to the county attorney for possible criminal prosecution.  The commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall also report other cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to local law enforcement, the department of justice, or the office of the county attorney for possible criminal prosecution if there is reason to believe a crime has been committed.

\t5  Elderly and Adult Services; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend RSA 161-F:53 to read as follows:

\t161-F:53  Entry of Premises.  If either [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult reported or suspected of being abused, neglected, or exploited refuses, or a caretaker or caregiver refuses, to allow the representative of the department entrance to the premises for the purpose of investigating a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the probate court, in the county where the adult is found, upon a finding of probable cause, may order an authorized representative of the commissioner, a police officer, or other authorized individual to enter said premises in furtherance of such investigation.

\t6  Incapacitated Adult Fatality Review Committee.  Amend the section heading and paragraphs I-IV of RSA 21-M:16 to read as follows:

\t21-M:16  Incapacitated and Vulnerable Adult Fatality Review Committee Established.

\t\tI.  There is hereby established the incapacitated and vulnerable adult fatality review committee (committee) which shall be administratively attached, under RSA 21-G:10, to the department of justice.

\t\tII.  The attorney general shall appoint members and alternate members to the committee.  The members of the committee shall include individuals representing the health care field, organizations with expertise in services provided to incapacitated and vulnerable adults, law enforcement, organizations or individuals who advocate for or provide legal representation for incapacitated and vulnerable adults, and such other members as the attorney general determines will assist the committee in fulfilling its objectives.  The terms of the members shall be 3 years; provided, that the initial members shall be appointed to staggered terms.  Members shall serve at the pleasure of the attorney general.

\t\tIII.  The committee shall:

\t\t\t(a)  Recommend policies, practices, and services that will promote collaboration among service providers for, and reduce preventable fatalities among, incapacitated and vulnerable adults.

\t\t\t(b)  Evaluate policies, practices, interventions and responses to fatalities among incapacitated and vulnerable adults and offer recommendations for any improvements in those interventions and responses.

\t\t\t(c)  Determine and report on trends and patterns of incapacitated and vulnerable adult deaths in New Hampshire.

\t\t\t(d)  Evaluate and report on high risk factors, current practices, gaps in systematic responses, and barriers to safety and well-being for incapacitated and vulnerable adults in New Hampshire.

\t\t\t(e)  Educate the public, policy makers, and budget authorities about fatalities involving covered incapacitated and vulnerable adults.

\t\t\t(f)  Recommend improvements in the sources of data relative to preventing fatalities among incapacitated and vulnerable adults.

\t\t\t(g)  Identify and evaluate the prevalence of risk factors for preventable deaths in the population of incapacitated and vulnerable adults.

\t\tIV.  For the purposes of this section, "incapacitated adult'' means:

\t\t\t(a)  Adults who are clients of the area agency system pursuant to RSA 171-A or RSA 137-K at the time of the person's death or within one year of the person's death.

\t\t\t(b)  Adults who are patients at the New Hampshire hospital or any other designated receiving facility or whose death occurs within 90 days following discharge, who are on conditional discharge, or who are applicants for or clients of the community mental health center system under RSA 135-C:13 and RSA 135-C:14 at the time of death or within one year of death.

\t\t\t(c)  Adults who are receiving services pursuant to RSA 161-E and RSA 161-I.

\t\t\t(d)  Adults who are participants in programs or residents of facilities specified in RSA 151:2, I(a), (b), (d), (e), or [(f)] paragraph IV-a, or RSA 161-J, or within 90 days of discharge from such a facility.

\t\t\t(e)  [Adults who were the reported victims of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation which was reported to the department of health and human services pursuant to RSA 161-F:46, where the report was determined to be unfounded and was filed within 6 months prior to death, where the report was determined to be founded and was filed within 3 years prior to death, or where the report was pending at the time of death.

\t\t\t(f)]  Adults who were in need of any of the services defined in subparagraphs (a)-[(e)] (d) and paragraph IV-a at the time of their death.

\t\tIV-a.  For the purposes of this section, "vulnerable adult"  means adults who were the reported victims of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation which was reported to the department of health and human services pursuant to RSA 161-F:46, where the report was determined to be unfounded and was filed within 6 months prior to death, where the report was determined to be founded and was filed within 3 years prior to death, or where the report was pending at the time of death.

\t7  Criminal Neglect of Elderly, Disabled, or Impaired Adults; Definitions.  Amend RSA 631:8, I(e) to read as follows:

\t\t\t(e)  "Impaired adult'' means any adult who suffers from an impairment by reason of mental illness, developmental disability, organic brain disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, memory loss, or other cause, that causes an adult to lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate reasonable decisions concerning the adult's person or property or exhibits the functional limitations as defined in RSA 464-A:2, VII.  Impaired adult includes a person determined to be vulnerable under RSA 161-F or incapacitated under [RSA 161-F or] RSA 464-A.

\t8  Financial Exploitation of an Elderly, Disabled, or Impaired Adult.  Amend RSA 631:9, II to read as follows:

\t\tII.  State and local law enforcement agencies shall have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of [incapacitated] vulnerable adults as defined in RSA 161-F or incapacitated adults under RSA 464-A and all other crimes against elderly, disabled, or impaired adult victims including, but not limited to, the crimes set forth in RSA 631:8 and this section.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or his or her designees, relative to investigating reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of [incapacitated] vulnerable adults pursuant to RSA 161-F.

\t9  Methamphetamine-Related Crimes; "Incapacitated" Changed to "Vulnerable."  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 639-A:2, I to read as follows:

\t\tI.  No person shall knowingly engage in any of the following activities in the presence of a child or [incapacitated] vulnerable adult; in the residence of a child or [an incapacitated] a vulnerable adult; in a building, structure, conveyance, or outdoor location where a child or [incapacitated] vulnerable adult might reasonably be expected to be present; within any drug-free school zone, as defined under RSA 193-B:1, II; in a room offered to the public for overnight accommodations; or in any multiple unit residential building:

\t10  Replace "Incapacitated" with "Vulnerable."  The term incapacitated shall be replaced with the term vulnerable in the following RSA sections:  161-F:42, the  introductory paragraph of 161-F:46, 161-F:73, I, 639-A:1, III, and 639-A:2, II, III.

\t11  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

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