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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 8: Abuse of disabled persons under state care; investigations and hearings

Section 8. If, upon completion of investigation of a report of abuse of a disabled person whose caretaker is a state agency there is reasonable cause to conclude that such abuse did occur, or whenever, upon its own motion, the commission determines that a formal hearing is necessary to ascertain the scope and remedy of such abuse of disabled persons whose caretaker is a state agency, the commission may, upon a majority vote, initiate a formal investigation, including a hearing, to determine the nature and the extent of such abuse and what recommendations, if any, should be made with respect to such occurrence. Testimony in commission proceedings may, in the discretion of the commission, be recorded and taken under oath. The commission may, in its discretion, permit any party to testify, to call and examine witnesses, to introduce evidence or to cross-examine witnesses. Before testifying, all witnesses shall be given a copy of the regulations governing the commission proceedings. Each witness shall be entitled to be represented by counsel and may refuse to submit evidence or give testimony if such evidence or testimony could tend to incriminate him. All proceedings of the commission shall be public unless the commission votes to go into executive session. Any person whose name is mentioned during a proceeding under this section and who may be adversely affected by any action of the commission under section nine shall have the right to appear personally, to be represented by counsel in connection with the proceedings, to call and examine witnesses, to introduce evidence or to cross-examine witnesses.