Amended in Senate June 6, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 5, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2872

Introduced by Assembly Member Patterson

February 19, 2016

An act to amend Section 9001 of the Family Code, and to amend Sections 305.6 and 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to children.


AB 2872, as amended, Patterson. Children.

(1) Existing law prohibits a peace officer from taking into temporary custody, without a warrant, a minor who is in a hospital if specified conditions exist, including that the minor is a newborn who tested positive for illegal drugs or whose birth mother tested positive for illegal drugs or the minor is the subject of a proposed adoption and a Health Facility Minor Release Report has been completed by the hospital, as specified.

This bill would require the appropriate hospital personnel to complete a Health Facility Minor Release Report and provide copies to specified parties upon request by a parent.

(2) Existing law authorizes specified persons to inspect a juvenile case file, including a court-appointed investigator who is actively participating in a guardianship case involving a minor, as specified, and acting within the scope of his or her duties in that case.

This bill would additionally permit a statutorily authorized or court-appointed investigator who is conducting specified investigations relating to children, including stepparent adoptions, to inspect a juvenile case file.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 9001 of the Family Code is amended to



(a) Except as provided in Section 9000.5, before granting
4or denying a stepparent adoption request, the court shall review
5and consider a written investigative report. The report in a
6stepparent adoption case shall not require a home study unless so
7ordered by the court upon request of an investigator or interested
8person, or on the court’s own motion. “Home study” as used in
9this section means a physical investigation of the premises where
10the child is residing.

11(b) At the time of filing the adoption request, the petitioner shall
12inform the court in writing if the petitioner is electing to have the
13investigation and written report completed by a licensed clinical
14social worker, a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a private
15licensed adoption agency, in which cases the petitioner shall not
16be required to pay any investigation fee pursuant to Section 9002
17at the time of filing, but shall pay these fees directly to the
18investigator. Absent that notification, the court may, at the time
19of filing, collect an investigation fee pursuant to Section 9002, and
20may assign one of the following to complete the investigation: a
21probation officer, a qualified court investigator, or the county
22welfare department, if so authorized by the board of supervisors
23of the county where the action is pending.

24(c) If a private licensed adoption agency conducts the
25investigation, it shall assign the investigation to a licensed clinical
26social worker or licensed marriage and family therapist associated
27with the agency. Any grievance regarding the investigation shall
28be directed to the licensing authority of the clinical social worker
29or marriage and family therapist, as applicable.

30(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the State
31Department of Social Services to issue regulations for stepparent

P3    1

SEC. 2.  

Section 305.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
2amended to read:



(a) Any peace officer may, without a warrant, take into
4temporary custody a minor who is in a hospital if the release of
5the minor to a prospective adoptive parent or a representative of
6a licensed adoption agency poses an immediate danger to the
7minor’s health or safety.

8(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) and Section 305, a peace
9officer shall not, without a warrant, take into temporary custody
10a minor who is in a hospital if all of the following conditions exist:

11(1) The minor is a newborn who tested positive for illegal drugs
12or whose birth mother tested positive for illegal drugs.

13(2) begin delete(A)end deletebegin deleteend deleteThe minor is the subject of a proposed adoption and a
14Health Facility Minor Release Report, developed by the
15department, has been completed by the hospital, including the
16marking of the boxes applicable to an independent adoption or
17agency adoption planning, and signed by the placing birth parent
18or birth parents, as well as either the prospective adoptive parent
19or parents or an authorized representative of a licensed adoption
20agency, prior to the discharge of the birth parent or the minor from
21the hospital.begin delete Prior to signing the Health Facility Minor Release
22Report, the birth parent or parents shall be given aend delete
begin insert The Health
23Facility Minor Release Report shall include aend insert
notice written in at
24least 14-point pica type, containing substantially all of the
25following statements:

begin delete


end delete

27begin insert(A)end insert That the Health Facility Minor Release Report does not
28constitute consent to adoption of the minor by the prospective
29adoptive parent or parents, or any other person.

begin delete


end delete

31begin insert(B)end insert That the Health Facility Minor Release Report does not
32constitute a relinquishment of parental rights for the purposes of
33 adoption.

begin delete


end delete

35begin insert(C)end insert That the birth parent or parents or any person authorized by
36the birth parent or parents may reclaim the minor at any time from
37the prospective adoptive parent or parents or any other person to
38whom the minor was released by the hospital, as provided in
39Section 8700, 8814.5, or 8815 of the Family Code.

begin delete

P4    1(B) The notice shall be signed by the birth parent or parents and
2attached to the Health Facility Minor Release Report, a copy of
3which shall be provided to the birth parent or parents by hospital
4personnel at the time the form is completed.

end delete

5(3) The release of the minor to a prospective adoptive parent or
6parents or an authorized representative of a licensed adoption
7agency does not pose an immediate danger to the minor.

8(4) An attorney or an adoption agency has provided
9documentation stating that he or she, or the agency, is representing
10the prospective adoptive parent or parents for purposes of the
11adoption. In the case of an independent adoption, as defined in
12Section 8524 of the Family Code, the attorney or adoption agency
13shall provide documentation stating that the prospective adoptive
14parent or parents have been informed that the child may be eligible
15for benefits provided pursuant to the Adoption Assistance Program,
16as set forth in Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of
17Part 4 of Division 9, only if, at the time the adoption request is
18filed, the child has met the requirements to receive federal
19supplemental security income benefits pursuant to Subchapter XVI
20(commencing with Section 1381) of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the
21United States Code, as determined and documented by the federal
22Social Security Administration.

23(5) The prospective adoptive parent or parents or their
24representative, or an authorized representative of a licensed
25adoption agency, provides all of the following to the peacebegin delete officer
26who seeks to take the minor into temporary custody:end delete
begin insert officer:end insert

27(A) A fully executed copy of the Health Facility Minor Release

29(B) A written form signed by either the prospective adoptive
30parent or parents or a representative of the licensed adoption
31agency, which shall include all of the following:

32(i) A statement that the minor is the subject of a proposed

34(ii) A declaration that the signer or signers will immediately
35notify the county child welfare agency pursuant to Section 11165.9
36of the Penal Code if the adoption plan is terminated for any reason,
37and will not release the minor to the birth parent or parents or any
38designee of the birth parent or parents until the county child welfare
39agency or local law enforcement agency completes an investigation
40and determines that release of the minor to the birth parent or
P5    1parents or a designee of the birth parent or parents will not create
2an immediate risk to the health or safety of the minor.

3(iii) An agreement to provide a conformed copy of the adoption
4request or guardianship petition to the county child welfare agency
5within five business days after filing.

6(iv) The names, identifying information, and contact information
7for the minor, for each prospective adoptive parent, and for each
8birth parent, to the extent that information is known. In the case
9of an agency adoption where no prospective adoptive parent or
10parents are identified at the time of the minor’s release from the
11hospital, the licensed adoption agency may provide the information
12as it pertains to the licensed or certified foster home into which
13the agency intends to place the minor.

14(c) (1) In every independent adoption proceeding under this
15section, the prospective adoptive parent or parents shall file with
16the court either an adoption request within 10 working days after
17execution of an adoption placement agreement, or a guardianship
18petition within 30 calendar days after the child’s discharge from
19the hospital, whichever is earlier.

20(2) If the adoption plan for a minor who was released from the
21hospital pursuant to subdivision (b) is terminated for any reason,
22the prospective adoptive parent or parents or licensed adoption
23agency shall immediately notify the county child welfare agency.
24The prospective adoptive parent or parents or licensed adoption
25agency may not release the minor into the physical custody of the
26birth parent or parents, or any designee of the birth parent or
27parents, until the county child welfare agency or local law
28enforcement agency completes an investigation and determines
29that release of the minor to the birth parent or parents or a designee
30of the birth parent or parents will not create an immediate risk to
31the health or safety of the minor.

32(d) Upon requestbegin delete by a parentend deletebegin insert by a birth parent or parentsend insert of the
33minor newborn, the appropriate hospital personnel shall complete
34a Health Facility Minor Release Report and provide copies of the
35report tobegin delete all parties listed in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of
36subdivision (b).end delete
begin insert the birth parent or parents, and the person or
37persons who will receive physical custody of the child upon
38discharge.end insert
Hospital personnel shall not refuse to complete a Health
39Facility Minor Release Report for any reason, even if the minor
40is ineligible for release at that time.begin insert However, nothing in this
P6    1section shall be construed to require hospital personnel to release
2a minor contrary to the directives of a child welfare agency.end insert

3(e) Nothing in this section is intended to create a duty that
4requires law enforcement to investigate the prospective adoptive
5parent or parents.


SEC. 3.  

Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
7amended to read:



(a) (1) Except as provided in Section 828, a case file
9may be inspected only by the following:

10(A) Court personnel.

11(B) The district attorney, a city attorney, or city prosecutor
12authorized to prosecute criminal or juvenile cases under state law.

13(C) The minor who is the subject of the proceeding.

14(D)  The minor’s parents or guardian.

15(E) The attorneys for the parties, judges, referees, other hearing
16officers, probation officers, and law enforcement officers who are
17actively participating in criminal or juvenile proceedings involving
18the minor.

19(F) The county counsel, city attorney, or any other attorney
20representing the petitioning agency in a dependency action.

21(G) The superintendent or designee of the school district where
22the minor is enrolled or attending school.

23(H) Members of the child protective agencies as defined in
24Section 11165.9 of the Penal Code.

25(I) The State Department of Social Services, to carry out its
26duties pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 10000),
27and Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12, of the
28Family Code to oversee and monitor county child welfare agencies,
29children in foster care or receiving foster care assistance, and
30out-of-state placements, Section 10850.4, and paragraph (2).

31(J) Authorized legal staff or special investigators who are peace
32officers who are employed by, or who are authorized
33representatives of, the State Department of Social Services, as
34necessary to the performance of their duties to inspect, license,
35and investigate community care facilities, and to ensure that the
36standards of care and services provided in those facilities are
37adequate and appropriate and to ascertain compliance with the
38rules and regulations to which the facilities are subject. The
39confidential information shall remain confidential except for
40purposes of inspection, licensing, or investigation pursuant to
P7    1Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) and Chapter 3.4
2(commencing with Section 1596.70) of Division 2 of the Health
3and Safety Code, or a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding
4in relation thereto. The confidential information may be used by
5the State Department of Social Services in a criminal, civil, or
6administrative proceeding. The confidential information shall be
7available only to the judge or hearing officer and to the parties to
8the case. Names that are confidential shall be listed in attachments
9separate to the general pleadings. The confidential information
10shall be sealed after the conclusion of the criminal, civil, or
11administrative hearings, and may not subsequently be released
12except in accordance with this subdivision. If the confidential
13information does not result in a criminal, civil, or administrative
14proceeding, it shall be sealed after the State Department of Social
15Services decides that no further action will be taken in the matter
16of suspected licensing violations. Except as otherwise provided in
17this subdivision, confidential information in the possession of the
18State Department of Social Services may not contain the name of
19the minor.

20(K) Members of children’s multidisciplinary teams, persons, or
21agencies providing treatment or supervision of the minor.

22(L) A judge, commissioner, or other hearing officer assigned
23to a family law case with issues concerning custody or visitation,
24or both, involving the minor, and the following persons, if actively
25participating in the family law case: a family court mediator
26assigned to a case involving the minor pursuant to Article 1
27(commencing with Section 3160) of Chapter 11 of Part 2 of
28Division 8 of the Family Code, a court-appointed evaluator or a
29person conducting a court-connected child custody evaluation,
30investigation, or assessment pursuant to Section 3111 or 3118 of
31the Family Code, and counsel appointed for the minor in the family
32law case pursuant to Section 3150 of the Family Code. Prior to
33allowing counsel appointed for the minor in the family law case
34to inspect the file, the court clerk may require counsel to provide
35a certified copy of the court order appointing him or her as the
36minor’s counsel.

37(M) When acting within the scope of investigative duties of an
38active case, a statutorily authorized or court-appointed investigator
39who is conducting an investigation pursuant to Section 7663, 7851,
40or 9001 of the Family Code, or who is actively participating in a
P8    1guardianship case involving a minor pursuant to Part 2
2(commencing with Section 1500) of Division 4 of the Probate
3Code and acting within the scope of his or her duties in that case.

4(N) A local child support agency for the purpose of establishing
5paternity and establishing and enforcing child support orders.

6(O) Juvenile justice commissions as established under Section
7225. The confidentiality provisions of Section 10850 shall apply
8to a juvenile justice commission and its members.

9(P) Any other person who may be designated by court order of
10the judge of the juvenile court upon filing a petition.

11(2) (A) Notwithstanding any other law and subject to
12subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3), juvenile case files, except those
13relating to matters within the jurisdiction of the court pursuant to
14Section 601 or 602, that pertain to a deceased child who was within
15the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300, shall
16be released to the public pursuant to an order by the juvenile court
17after a petition has been filed and interested parties have been
18afforded an opportunity to file an objection. Any information
19relating to another child or which could identify another child,
20except for information about the deceased, shall be redacted from
21the juvenile case file prior to release, unless a specific order is
22made by the juvenile court to the contrary. Except as provided in
23this paragraph, the presiding judge of the juvenile court may issue
24an order prohibiting or limiting access to the juvenile case file, or
25any portion thereof, of a deceased child only upon a showing by
26a preponderance of evidence that release of the juvenile case file
27or any portion thereof is detrimental to the safety, protection, or
28physical or emotional well-being of another child who is directly
29or indirectly connected to the juvenile case that is the subject of
30the petition.

31(B) This paragraph represents a presumption in favor of the
32release of documents when a child is deceased unless the statutory
33reasons for confidentiality are shown to exist.

34(C) If a child whose records are sought has died, and documents
35are sought pursuant to this paragraph, no weighing or balancing
36of the interests of those other than a child is permitted.

37(D) A petition filed under this paragraph shall be served on
38interested parties by the petitioner, if the petitioner is in possession
39of their identity and address, and on the custodian of records. Upon
40receiving a petition, the custodian of records shall serve a copy of
P9    1the request upon all interested parties that have not been served
2by the petitioner or on the interested parties served by the petitioner
3if the custodian of records possesses information, such as a more
4recent address, indicating that the service by the petitioner may
5have been ineffective.

6(E) The custodian of records shall serve the petition within 10
7calendar days of receipt. If any interested party, including the
8custodian of records, objects to the petition, the party shall file and
9serve the objection on the petitioning party no later than 15
10calendar days of service of the petition.

11(F) The petitioning party shall have 10 calendar days to file any
12reply. The juvenile court shall set the matter for hearing no more
13than 60 calendar days from the date the petition is served on the
14 custodian of records. The court shall render its decision within 30
15days of the hearing. The matter shall be decided solely upon the
16basis of the petition and supporting exhibits and declarations, if
17any, the objection and any supporting exhibits or declarations, if
18any, and the reply and any supporting declarations or exhibits
19thereto, and argument at hearing. The court may solely upon its
20own motion order the appearance of witnesses. If no objection is
21filed to the petition, the court shall review the petition and issue
22its decision within 10 calendar days of the final day for filing the
23objection. Any order of the court shall be immediately reviewable
24by petition to the appellate court for the issuance of an
25extraordinary writ.

26(3) Access to juvenile case files pertaining to matters within the
27jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 shall be
28limited as follows:

29(A) If a juvenile case file, or any portion thereof, is privileged
30or confidential pursuant to any other state law or federal law or
31regulation, the requirements of that state law or federal law or
32regulation prohibiting or limiting release of the juvenile case file
33or any portions thereof shall prevail. Unless a person is listed in
34subparagraphs (A) to (O), inclusive, of paragraph (1) and is entitled
35to access under the other state law or federal law or regulation
36without a court order, all those seeking access, pursuant to other
37authorization, to portions of, or information relating to the contents
38of, juvenile case files protected under another state law or federal
39law or regulation, shall petition the juvenile court. The juvenile
40court may only release the portion of, or information relating to
P10   1the contents of, juvenile case files protected by another state law
2or federal law or regulation if disclosure is not detrimental to the
3safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of a child
4who is directly or indirectly connected to the juvenile case that is
5the subject of the petition. This paragraph shall not be construed
6to limit the ability of the juvenile court to carry out its duties in
7conducting juvenile court proceedings.

8(B) Prior to the release of the juvenile case file or any portion
9thereof, the court shall afford due process, including a notice of
10and an opportunity to file an objection to the release of the record
11or report to all interested parties.

12(4) A juvenile case file, any portion thereof, and information
13relating to the content of the juvenile case file, may not be
14disseminated by the receiving agencies to any persons or agencies,
15other than those persons or agencies authorized to receive
16documents pursuant to this section. Further, a juvenile case file,
17any portion thereof, and information relating to the content of the
18juvenile case file, may not be made as an attachment to any other
19documents without the prior approval of the presiding judge of the
20juvenile court, unless it is used in connection with and in the course
21of a criminal investigation or a proceeding brought to declare a
22person a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court.

23(5) Individuals listed in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), (D), (E),
24(F), (H), and (I) of paragraph (1) may also receive copies of the
25case file. In these circumstances, the requirements of paragraph
26(4) shall continue to apply to the information received.

27(b) (1) While the Legislature reaffirms its belief that juvenile
28court records, in general, should be confidential, it is the intent of
29the Legislature in enacting this subdivision to provide for a limited
30exception to juvenile court record confidentiality to promote more
31effective communication among juvenile courts, family courts,
32law enforcement agencies, and schools to ensure the rehabilitation
33of juvenile criminal offenders as well as to lessen the potential for
34drug use, violence, other forms of delinquency, and child abuse.

35(2) (A) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), written notice that a
36minor enrolled in a public school, kindergarten to grade 12,
37inclusive, has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to
38have committed any felony or any misdemeanor involving curfew,
39gambling, alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, carrying of weapons,
40a sex offense listed in Section 290 of the Penal Code, assault or
P11   1battery, larceny, vandalism, or graffiti shall be provided by the
2court, within seven days, to the superintendent of the school district
3of attendance. Written notice shall include only the offense found
4to have been committed by the minor and the disposition of the
5minor’s case. This notice shall be expeditiously transmitted by the
6district superintendent to the principal at the school of attendance.
7The principal shall expeditiously disseminate the information to
8those counselors directly supervising or reporting on the behavior
9or progress of the minor. In addition, the principal shall disseminate
10the information to any teacher or administrator directly supervising
11or reporting on the behavior or progress of the minor whom the
12principal believes needs the information to work with the pupil in
13an appropriate fashion, to avoid being needlessly vulnerable or to
14protect other persons from needless vulnerability.

15(B) Any information received by a teacher, counselor, or
16administrator under this subdivision shall be received in confidence
17for the limited purpose of rehabilitating the minor and protecting
18students and staff, and shall not be further disseminated by the
19teacher, counselor, or administrator, except insofar as
20communication with the juvenile, his or her parents or guardians,
21law enforcement personnel, and the juvenile’s probation officer
22is necessary to effectuate the juvenile’s rehabilitation or to protect
23students and staff.

24(C) An intentional violation of the confidentiality provisions of
25this paragraph is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed
26five hundred dollars ($500).

27(3) If a minor is removed from public school as a result of the
28court’s finding described in subdivision (b), the superintendent
29shall maintain the information in a confidential file and shall defer
30transmittal of the information received from the court until the
31minor is returned to public school. If the minor is returned to a
32school district other than the one from which the minor came, the
33parole or probation officer having jurisdiction over the minor shall
34so notify the superintendent of the last district of attendance, who
35shall transmit the notice received from the court to the
36superintendent of the new district of attendance.

37(c) Each probation report filed with the court concerning a minor
38whose record is subject to dissemination pursuant to subdivision
39(b) shall include on the face sheet the school at which the minor
40is currently enrolled. The county superintendent shall provide the
P12   1court with a listing of all of the schools within each school district,
2within the county, along with the name and mailing address of
3each district superintendent.

4(d) (1) Each notice sent by the court pursuant to subdivision
5(b) shall be stamped with the instruction: “Unlawful Dissemination
6Of This Information Is A Misdemeanor.” Any information received
7from the court shall be kept in a separate confidential file at the
8school of attendance and shall be transferred to the minor’s
9subsequent schools of attendance and maintained until the minor
10graduates from high school, is released from juvenile court
11jurisdiction, or reaches the age of 18 years, whichever occurs first.
12After that time the confidential record shall be destroyed. At any
13time after the date by which a record required to be destroyed by
14this section should have been destroyed, the minor or his or her
15parent or guardian shall have the right to make a written request
16to the principal of the school that the minor’s school records be
17reviewed to ensure that the record has been destroyed. Upon
18completion of any requested review and no later than 30 days after
19the request for the review was received, the principal or his or her
20designee shall respond in writing to the written request and either
21shall confirm that the record has been destroyed or, if the record
22has not been destroyed, shall explain why destruction has not yet

24(2) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), no
25liability shall attach to any person who transmits or fails to transmit
26any notice or information required under subdivision (b).

27(e) For purposes of this section, a “juvenile case file” means a
28petition filed in any juvenile court proceeding, reports of the
29probation officer, and all other documents filed in that case or
30made available to the probation officer in making his or her report,
31or to the judge, referee, or other hearing officer, and thereafter
32retained by the probation officer, judge, referee, or other hearing

34(f) The persons described in subparagraphs (A), (E), (F), (H),
35(K), (L), (M), and (N) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) include
36persons serving in a similar capacity for an Indian tribe, reservation,
37or tribal court when the case file involves a child who is a member
38of, or who is eligible for membership in, that tribe.