576D-12 Protection of records; divulging confidential information prohibited; penalties. (a) The agency and its agents shall keep records that may be necessary or proper in accordance with this chapter. All applications and records concerning any individual or case shall be confidential. The use or disclosure of information concerning any individual or case shall be limited to:

(1) Persons duly authorized by the State or the United States in connection with their official duties, when their official duties are directly concerned with the administration and implementation of any child support enforcement plan or of a program approved by Title IV-A through E, or under Title II, X, XIV, XVI, XIX, or XX of the Social Security Act, including but not limited to any legal counsel working on behalf of the agency;

(2) Disclosure to the extent necessary to provide information to family support payors or payees or their authorized representatives regarding payments received by the agency and the status of their support accounts; provided that the information shall be disclosed to an authorized representative only if the request is accompanied by a written waiver of the payor or payee concerned;

(3) Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies as provided in section 576D-6(a)(6);

(4) Other agencies or persons connected with the administration of any other federal or federally assisted program that provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need;

(5) Employees acting within the scope and course of their employment with the department as may be approved by the agency;

(6) Purposes directly connected with any investigation, enforcement, prosecution, or criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding conducted in connection with the administration of any plan or program in paragraph (1); and

(7) Disclosure to the family court as may be deemed necessary by the family court for any case pending before a court or for purposes of implementation of section 571-51.5.

(b) Disclosure to any committee or legislative body (federal, state, or county) of any information that identifies by name and address any applicant or recipient shall be prohibited.

(c) The agency shall not disclose information relating to the location of one party or the child to another party if the agency knows a protective order has been entered with respect to the other party. The agency shall not disclose information related to the location of one party or the child to another person if the agency has reason to believe that disclosure of the information to that person may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child.

(d) When the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary's agent discloses information about a parent or child to a family court or hearings officer and advises that court or hearings officer that the Secretary has been notified that there is reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, the court or hearings officer shall determine whether disclosure to any other person of information received from the Secretary could be harmful to the parent or child and, if the court or hearings officer determines that disclosure to any other person could be harmful, the court or hearings officer shall not make any such disclosure.

(e) The agency shall adopt and enforce such rules as may be necessary to prevent improper acquisition or use of confidential information. Any information obtained pursuant to this section by officials, employees, or legal counsel working on behalf of the agency may be used in connection with their official duties or within the scope and course of their employment but not otherwise, and shall be kept in confidential records or files, which shall not be subject to any other law permitting inspection of government records. The agency and its agents shall determine whether the inspection is in connection with the official duties or within the scope and course of employment.

(f) The use of the records, and other communications of the agency or its agents by any other agency or department of the government to which they may be furnished, shall be limited to the purposes for which they are furnished.

(g) Any person, including any person who is authorized by this section to obtain information, who, knowing the information obtained is from confidential records or files of the agency, intentionally discloses the information other than as authorized by law, or who intentionally or knowingly aids or abets in the inspection or disclosure of the applications or records by any person not authorized by this section to inspect such applications or records, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law.

(h) Nothing in this section shall require the sealing of family court records or preclude the disclosure of information by the family court relating to any case pending before a court or for purposes of implementation of section 571-51.5. [L 1989, c 133, 1; am L 1991, c 145, 2; am L 1992, c 246, 4; am L 1997, c 293, 31; am L 1998, c 153, 6; am L 2002, c 84, 2; am L 2005, c 26, 2; am L 2006, c 42, 1]

 

 

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