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    Chapter 27G: Legislative findings and declarations

      Section: 52:27G-13: Confidentiality of information; exceptions; violations; penalty; privileged communications

           a. The office shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all matters in relation to any complaint or investigation together with identities of the complainants, witnesses or patients, residents or clients involved, unless such persons authorize, in writing, the release of such information, except for such disclosures as may be necessary to enable the office to perform its duties and to support any opinions or recommendations that may result from a complaint or investigation. The investigatory files of the office, including all complaints and responses of the office to complaints, shall be maintained as confidential information. Release of pertinent records shall be at the discretion of the ombudsman. Nothing herein contained shall preclude the use by the office of material in its files, otherwise confidential, for the preparation and disclosure of statistical, case study and other pertinent data, provided that in any such use there shall be no disclosure of the identity or the means for discovering the identity of particular persons.

b. Any person conducting or participating in any examination of a complaint or an investigation who shall disclose to any person other than the office, or those authorized by the ombudsman to receive it, the name of any witness examined, or any information obtained or given upon such examination or investigation is a disorderly person.

c. Any statement or communication made by the office relevant to a complaint received by, proceedings before, or investigative activities of, the office, and any complaint or information made or provided in good faith by any person, shall be absolutely privileged and such privilege shall be a complete defense in any action which shall allege libel or slander.

d. The office shall not be required to testify in any court with respect to matters held to be confidential in this section except as the court may deem necessary to enforce the provisions of this act.

L.1977, c. 239, s. 13, eff. Sept. 29, 1977.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2012-09-26 13:37:56.

Older versions of 52:27G-13 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.