SECTION 44-22-100. Confidentiality of records; exceptions; violations and penalties.
(A) Certificates, applications, records, and reports made for the purpose of this chapter or Chapter 9, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, Chapter 15, Chapter 17, Chapter 20, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 27, or Chapter 52, and directly or indirectly identifying a mentally ill or alcohol and drug abuse patient or former patient or individual whose commitment has been sought, must be kept confidential, and must not be disclosed unless:

(1) the individual identified or the individual’s guardian consents;

(2) a court directs that disclosure is necessary for the conduct of proceedings before the court and that failure to make the disclosure is contrary to public interest;

(3) disclosure is required for research conducted or authorized by the department or the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services and with the patient’s consent;

(4) disclosure is necessary to cooperate with law enforcement, health, welfare, and other state or federal agencies, or when furthering the welfare of the patient or the patient’s family;

(5) disclosure to a court of competent jurisdiction is necessary for the limited purpose of providing a court order to SLED in order to submit information to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), established pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Pub.L. 103-159, and in accordance with Article 10, Chapter 31, Title 23; or

(6) disclosure is necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter or Chapter 9, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, Chapter 15, Chapter 17, Chapter 20, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 27, or Chapter 52.

(B) Nothing in this section:

(1) precludes disclosure, upon proper inquiry, of information as to a patient’s current medical condition to members of the patient’s family, or the Governor’s Office of Ombudsman; or

(2) requires the release of records of which disclosure is prohibited or regulated by federal law.

(C) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

HISTORY: 1991 Act No. 127, § 1; 1992 Act No. 279, § 4; 1993 Act No. 181, § 1081; 2013 Act No. 22, § 2, eff August 1, 2013.