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RULE §702.209How does the Department of Family and Protective Services prioritize fulfilling requests for copies of confidential client records that require redaction prior to their release?

(a) The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) fulfills requests for client records in the following priority order, from highest to lowest priority ranking:

  (1) Records provided in response to a subpoena or court order that has been properly served on DFPS;

  (2) Records provided in response to discovery in a lawsuit to which DFPS is a party;

  (3) Records provided to a prospective adoptive family before an adoption may be consummated;

  (4) Records provided to a party or the administrative law judge in an Employee Misconduct Registry administrative hearing;

  (5) Records provided to a party or the administrative law judge in a hearing conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings;

  (6) Records provided to a duly authorized person documenting the results of a school investigation as required by §261.406, Texas Family Code;

  (7) Records provided to a party in an administrative review of investigative findings that is conducted by DFPS;

  (8) Records provided to an adult who was previously in the conservatorship of DFPS if the request is for a copy of such adult's own "case record" as defined by §264.0145, Texas Family Code; and

  (9) Records provided to all other requestors entitled to receive the requested records, which are fulfilled in the order they are received.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, DFPS reserves the right to expedite any request for records when we determine that a delay in fulfilling the request may:

  (1) jeopardize the health or safety of any person;

  (2) cause any person to suffer undue hardship; or

  (3) result in DFPS's failure to meet a mandatory deadline for production of the requested records as imposed by a court or administrative tribunal.

(c) Additional information on who is entitled to receive confidential client records is provided in the following chapters in Title 40, Texas Administrative Code:

  (1) Chapter 700 of this title (relating to Child Protective Services);

  (2) Chapter 705 of this title (relating to Adult Protective Services); and

  (3) Chapter 707 of this title (relating to Child Protective Investigations).

Source Note: The provisions of this §702.209 adopted to be effective September 8, 2021, 46 TexReg 5593

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