Sections 4725-4731: Article 5. Access to Records
4725. For the purposes of this article:
(a) "Access" means the right to inspect, review, and obtain an
accurate copy of any record obtained in the course of providing
services under this division. A service agency may make a reasonable
charge in an amount not to exceed the actual cost of reproducing the
record, unless the imposition of the cost would prohibit the exercise
of the right to obtain a copy. No charge may be made to search for
or retrieve any record.
(b) "Record" means any item of information directly relating to a
person with developmental disabilities or to one who is believed to
have a developmental disability which is maintained by a service
agency, whether recorded by handwriting, print, tapes, film,
microfilm, or other means.
4726. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5328, access to
records shall be provided to an applicant for, or recipient of,
services or to his or her authorized representative, including the
person appointed as a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant
to Section 319, 361, or 726, for purposes of the appeal procedure
under this chapter.
4727. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to compel a
physician, psychologist, social worker, nurse, attorney, or other
professional person to reveal information which has been given to him
or her in confidence by members of a recipient's or applicant's
4728. Each service agency shall adopt procedures for granting of
requests by persons authorized under Section 4726 for access to
records during regular business hours, provided that access shall be
granted no later than three business days following the date of
receipt of the oral or written request for access. Procedures shall
include notice of the location of all records and the provision of
qualified personnel to interpret records if requested.
4729. Whenever access to service agency records is requested, the
service agency shall provide at least the following information:
(a) The types of records maintained by the service agency.
(b) The position of the official responsible for the maintenance
(c) The right of access to the records, and the policies of the
service agency for obtaining access, including the cost, if any,
consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 4725, to be charged for
reproducing copies of records.
4730. Any person who willfully and knowingly violates the
provisions of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.
4731. (a) Each consumer or any representative acting on behalf of
any consumer or consumers, who believes that any right to which a
consumer is entitled has been abused, punitively withheld, or
improperly or unreasonably denied by a regional center, developmental
center, or service provider, may pursue a complaint as provided in
(b) Initial referral of any complaint taken pursuant to this
section shall be to the director of the regional center from which
the consumer receives case management services. If the consumer
resides in a state developmental center, the complaint shall be made
to the director of that state developmental center. The director
shall, within 20 working days of receiving a complaint, investigate
the complaint and send a written proposed resolution to the
complainant and, if applicable, to the service provider. The written
proposed resolution shall include a telephone number and mailing
address for referring the proposed resolution in accordance with
(c) If the complainant is not satisfied with the proposed
resolution, the complainant may refer the complaint, in writing, to
the Director of Developmental Services within 15 working days of
receipt of the proposed resolution. The director shall, within 45
days of receiving a complaint, issue a written administrative
decision and send a copy of the decision to the complainant, the
director of the regional center or state developmental center, and
the service provider, if applicable. If there is no referral to the
department, the proposed resolution shall become effective on the
20th working day following receipt by the complainant.
(d) The department shall annually compile the number of complaints
filed, by each regional center and state developmental center
catchment area, the subject matter of each complaint, and a summary
of each decision. Copies shall be made available to any person upon
(e) This section shall not be used to resolve disputes concerning
the nature, scope, or amount of services and supports that should be
included in an individual program plan, for which there is an appeal
procedure established in this division, or disputes regarding rates
or audit appeals for which there is an appeal procedure established
in regulations. Those disputes shall be resolved through the appeals
procedure established by this division or in regulations.
(f) All consumers or, where appropriate, their parents, legal
guardian, conservator, or authorized representative, shall be
notified in writing in a language which they comprehend, of the right
to file a complaint pursuant to this section when they apply for
services from a regional center or are admitted to a developmental
center, and at each regularly scheduled planning meeting.