Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 123 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
The provisions of this section shall not apply to transfers of mentally retarded persons who reside at a facility for the mentally retarded.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 123 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 3 the following section:-
Section 3A. The department shall notify and consult with the permanent guardian or, if there is no such guardian and the mentally retarded person does not knowingly object, the nearest relative of a mentally retarded person, prior to the transfer of said person from one residential facility for the mentally retarded to another. Such notice shall be given at least forty-five days prior to the proposed transfer.
If a permanent guardian has been appointed for a mentally retarded person who is receiving residential services through the department, said department shall request said guardian's consent prior to the transfer by the department of said mentally retarded person from one residential facility for the mentally retarded to another. Said consent shall be requested in writing by registered mail, at least forty-five days prior to the proposed transfer. The request for consent shall include (1) a statement of how the proposed residential transfer from the current facility to the proposed residential facility will result in improved services and quality of life for the retarded ward, (2) the location of the proposed facility and a statement that said guardian may examine the facility, and (3) a statement of the rights of said guardian established by this section. Any objection by the guardian to the proposed transfer shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of the reasons upon which the objection is based. Failure to object in writing within said forty-five days shall be deemed to be a consent to said transfer. If the guardian files an objection, the transfer shall not occur unless the department prevails at an adjudicatory proceeding pursuant to this section.
If the individual service plan developed for the mentally retarded person by the department pursuant to its regulations cannot be fully implemented as a result of the guardian's objection to a proposed transfer, the department shall, within twenty days of receipt of said objection, file a request for an adjudicatory proceeding with the division of administrative law appeals established by section four H of chapter seven, whereupon said division shall be authorized to conduct said proceeding to determine whether the transfer should proceed. The division shall conduct an adjudicatory hearing within ninety days in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, and the burden of proof shall be on the department. During the pendency of said hearing the proposed residential transfer shall not occur. Said mentally retarded person shall have the right to be represented by counsel. The hearings officer shall determine which placement meets the best interest of the ward giving due consideration to the objections of the placement made by the relative and permanent guardian. The hearing officer shall issue a decision within thirty days of the hearing. After the hearing officer renders a written decision the parties shall have twenty days in which to appeal the decision to the superior court and the court shall hear such appeal as expeditiously as possible in open court or in chambers, and at such time and upon such notice, if notice is required as it in its discretion determines.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, in the case of an emergency, a transfer from one residential facility for the mentally retarded to another may be made immediately, provided, however, that no mentally retarded person shall be transferred to a facility for the mentally ill and notice of said transfer shall be given to said guardian or relative pursuant to this section within eight hours after said transfer. Failure by said guardian to object in writing within forty-five days of said notice shall be deemed to be a consent to said transfer. In all other respects, the standards and procedures governing a non-emergency transfer shall be the same as those governing an emergency transfer.
SECTION 3. Section 4 of said chapter 123, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
Following the review of a mentally retarded person, if the person is still in need of care as a resident, the superintendent shall notify the person and his nearest relative or legal guardian.