|State||2018 Statute Number||2018 Statute Language|
|Wyoming||Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-507. Abuse, neglect, abandonment, intimidation or exploitation of a vulnerable adult; penalties.||(a) Except under circumstances constituting a violation of W.S. 6-2-502, a person is guilty of abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation of a vulnerable adult if the person intentionally or recklessly abuses, neglects, abandons, intimidates or exploits a vulnerable adult.|
(b) Reckless abuse, neglect, abandonment, intimidation or exploitation of a vulnerable adult is a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than one (1) year in jail, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, and registration of the offender's name on the central registry.
(c) Intentional abuse, neglect or abandonment of a vulnerable adult is a felony punishable by not more than ten (10) years in prison, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00), or both, and registration of the offender's name on the central registry.
(d) Exploitation of a vulnerable adult is a felony punishable by not more than ten (10) years in prison, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00), or both, and registration of the offender's name on the central registry.
(e) As used in this section:
(i) “Abandonment” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(i);
(ii) “Abuse” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(ii);
(iii) “Caregiver” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(iv);
(iv) “Central registry” means the registry established under W.S. 35-20-115;
(v) “Exploitation” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(ix);
(vi) “Neglect” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(xi);
(vii) “Vulnerable adult” means as defined in W.S. 35-20-102(a)(xviii).
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-101. Short title.||This act may be cited as the “Adult Protective Services Act”.|
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-102. Definitions.||(a) As used in this act:|
(i) “Abandonment” means leaving a vulnerable adult without financial support or the means or ability to obtain food, clothing, shelter or health care;
(ii) “Abuse” means the intentional or reckless infliction, by the vulnerable adult's caregiver, person of trust or authority, professional, family member or other individual of:
(B) Unreasonable confinement which threatens the welfare and well being of a vulnerable adult;
(C) Cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harm or pain to a vulnerable adult;
(D) Photographing vulnerable adults in violation of W.S. 6-4-304(b);
(E) Sexual abuse;
(F) Intimidation; or
(iii) “Administrator” means the director of the department of family services or his designee;
(iv) “Caregiver” means any person or in-home service provider responsible for the care of a vulnerable adult because of:
(A) A family relationship;
(B) Voluntary assumption of responsibility for care;
(C) Court ordered responsibility or placement;
(D) Rendering services in an adult workshop or adult residential program;
(E) Rendering services in an institution or in a community-based program; or
(F) Acceptance of a legal obligation or responsibility to the vulnerable adult through a power of attorney, advanced health care directive or other legal designation.
(v) “Court” means the district court in the district where the vulnerable adult resides or is found;
(vi) Repealed by Laws 2002, Sp. & Sess., Ch. 86, § 3.
(vii) “Department” means the state department of family services or its designee;
(viii) “Emergency services” means those services that may be provided to assist vulnerable adults to prevent or terminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment until the emergency has been resolved;
(ix) “Exploitation” means the reckless or intentional act taken by any person, or any use of the power of attorney, conservatorship or guardianship of a vulnerable adult, to:
(A) Obtain control through deception, harassment, intimidation or undue influence over the vulnerable adult's money, assets or property with the intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the vulnerable adult of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of his money, assets or property;
(B) In the absence of legal authority:
(I) Employ the services of a third party for the profit or advantage of the person or another person to the detriment of a vulnerable adult;
(II) Force, compel, coerce or entice a vulnerable adult to perform services for the profit or advantage of another against the will of the vulnerable adult.
(C) Intentionally misuse the principal's property and, in so doing, adversely affect the principal's ability to receive health care or pay bills for basic needs or obligations; or
(D) Abuse the fiduciary duty under a power of attorney, conservatorship or guardianship.
(x) Repealed by Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., Ch. 86, § 3.
(xi) “Neglect” means the deprivation of, or failure to provide, the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical and mental health care, other care and prescribed medication as necessary to maintain a vulnerable adult's life or health, or which may result in a life-threatening situation. The withholding of health care from a vulnerable adult is not neglect if:
(A) Treatment is given in good faith by spiritual means alone, through prayer, by a duly accredited practitioner in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination;
(B) The withholding of health care is in accordance with a declaration executed pursuant to W.S. 35-22-401 through 35-22-416; or
(C) Care is provided by a hospice licensed in accordance with and pursuant to W.S. 35-2-901 through 35-2-910.
(xii) “Protective services” means those emergency services that are provided in a coordinated effort facilitated by the department within communities to assist vulnerable adults to prevent or terminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment until the vulnerable adult no longer needs those services. These services may include social casework, case management, emergency, short term in-home services such as homemaker, personal care or chore services, day care, social services, psychiatric or health evaluations and other emergency services consistent with this act;
(xiii) Repealed by Laws 2002, Sp. Sess., ch. 86, § 3.
(xiv) “Capacity to consent” means the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of making decisions concerning one's person, including, provisions for health or mental health care, food, shelter, clothing, safety or financial affairs. This determination may be based on assessment or investigative findings, observation or medical or mental health evaluations;
(xv) “Injury” means any harm, including disfigurement, impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising, laceration, bleeding, burn, fracture or dislocation of any bone, subdural hematoma, malnutrition, dehydration or pressure sores;
(xvi) “Mental disability” means a condition causing mental dysfunction resulting in an inability to manage resources, carry out the activities of daily living or protect oneself from neglect, abuse, exploitation or hazardous situations without assistance from others. Whether or not a mental dysfunction of such degree exists is subject to an evaluation by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or other qualified licensed mental health professional or licensed physician, if disputed;
(xvii) “Self neglect” means when a vulnerable adult is unable, due to physical or mental disability, or refuses to perform essential self-care tasks, including providing essential food, clothing, shelter or medical care, obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety, or managing financial affairs;
(xviii) “Vulnerable adult” means any person eighteen (18) years of age or older who is unable to manage and take care of himself or his money, assets or property without assistance as a result of advanced age or physical or mental disability;
(xix) “Substantiated report” means any report of abandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect pursuant to this act that is determined upon investigation to establish by a preponderance of the evidence the alleged abandonment, abuse, exploitation, intimidation or neglect;
(xx) “Intimidation” means the communication by word or act to a vulnerable adult that he, his family, friends or pets will be deprived of food, shelter, clothing, supervision, prescribed medication, physical or mental health care and other medical care necessary to maintain a vulnerable adult's health, financial support or will suffer physical violence;
(xxi) “Advanced age” means a person who is sixty (60) years of age or older;
(xxii) “Sexual abuse” means sexual contact including, but not limited to, unwanted touching, all types of sexual assault or battery as defined in W.S. 6-2-302 through 6-2-304, sexual exploitation and sexual photographing;
(xxiii) “This act” means W.S. 35-20-101 through 35-20-116.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-103. Reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of vulnerable adult; reports maintained in central registry.||(a) Any person or agency who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned or is committing self neglect shall report the information immediately to a law enforcement agency or the department. Anyone who in good faith makes a report pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability for making the report.|
(b) The report may be made orally or in writing. The report shall provide to law enforcement or the department the following, to the extent available:
(i) The name, age and address of the vulnerable adult;
(ii) The name and address of any person responsible for the vulnerable adult's care;
(iii) The nature and extent of the vulnerable adult's condition;
(iv) The basis of the reporter's knowledge;
(v) The names and conditions of the other residents, if the vulnerable adult resides in a facility with other vulnerable adults;
(vi) An evaluation of the persons responsible for the care of the residents, if the vulnerable adult resides in a facility with other vulnerable adults;
(vii) The adequacy of the facility environment;
(viii) Any evidence of previous injuries;
(ix) Any collaborative information; and
(x) Any other relevant information.
(c) After receipt of a report that a vulnerable adult is suspected of being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned or is committing self neglect, the department shall notify law enforcement and may request assistance from appropriate health or mental health agencies.
(d) If a law enforcement officer determines that a vulnerable adult is abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, he shall notify the department concerning the potential need of the vulnerable adult for protective services.
(e) Any report or notification to the department that a vulnerable adult is, or is suspected of being, abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, shall be investigated, a determination shall be made whether protective services are necessary and, whether an individual instruction exists under W.S. 35-22-401 through 35-22-416. If determined necessary, protective services shall be furnished by the department within three (3) days from the time the report or notice is received by the department. The investigation may include a visit to the facility in which the vulnerable adult resides and an interview with the vulnerable adult.
(f) Each substantiated report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult pursuant to this act shall be entered and maintained within the central registry of vulnerable adult protection cases under W.S. 35-20-115.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-104. Department to coordinate services; rules and regulations.||(a) The department shall:|
(i) Coordinate a protective services program consistent with this act, with the goal of ensuring that every vulnerable adult in need of protective services will have access to protective services;
(ii) Adopt rules, regulations and standards for services provided by the department necessary to effect the provisions and purposes of this act;
(iii) Develop and maintain statistical data which set forth referrals by type of incidence and disposition pursuant to this act but which do not contain personally identifiable information;
(iv) Provide appropriate training to all investigative agency personnel;
(v) Assign designated workers for adult protective services within the department to carry out the activities of this chapter;
(vi) Develop, facilitate and participate in local multidisciplinary community-based adult protection teams that discuss adult protection issues.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-105. Protective services; no services without consent; responsibility for costs.||(a) The department may furnish protective services in response to a request for assistance from the vulnerable adult, his caregiver, conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member. The department shall not serve as a caregiver.|
(b) Except under conditions provided for in W.S. 35-20-106 no vulnerable adult shall be required to accept protective services without his consent or, if he lacks the capacity to consent, the consent of his caregiver, conservator, guardian, guardian ad litem or agent, or a family member.
(c) Costs incurred to furnish protective services, including but not limited to fees for the services of a guardian ad litem, guardian or conservator, may be paid by the department unless:
(i) The vulnerable adult is eligible for protective services from another governmental agency or any other source, taking into consideration any personal assets or financial resources and services that can be provided under Medicaid or any other available indigency program for which the vulnerable adult may qualify; or
(ii) A court appoints a guardian ad litem, guardian or conservator and orders that the costs be paid from the vulnerable adult's estate.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-106. Petition by department when caregiver refuses to allow services; injunction.||(a) When a vulnerable adult needs protective services and the caregiver refuses to allow the provision of those services, the department, through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court for an order enjoining the caregiver from interfering with the provision of protective services.|
(b) The petition shall allege facts sufficient to show that the vulnerable adult needs protective services, that he consents or lacks the capacity to consent to receive the services and that the caregiver refuses to allow the protective services.
(c) If the court finds the allegations of the petition to be true by a preponderance of the evidence, it may:
(i) Enjoin the caregiver from interfering with the provision of protective services; and
(ii) Order the department to assist in facilitating the coordination of community resources, including service providers, churches and individuals or agencies to provide protective services to the extent those protective services are available.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-107. Emergency services.||(a) If an emergency exists and the department has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, self neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment and lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of protective services, the department, through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court for an order for emergency protective services.|
(b) The court shall give notice to the vulnerable adult who is the subject of the petition at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing. The court may dispense with notice if it finds that immediate or reasonably foreseeable physical harm to the vulnerable adult will result from the twenty-four (24) hour delay and that reasonable attempts have been made to give notice.
(c) The allegations of the petition shall be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. If the court finds that the vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, that an emergency exists and that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of services, the court may order the department to provide protective services on an emergency basis. The court shall order only those services necessary to remove the conditions creating the emergency and shall specifically designate the authorized services. The order for emergency protective services shall remain in effect for a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends and holidays. The order may be extended for up to an additional thirty (30) day period if the court finds that the extension is necessary to remove the emergency. The vulnerable adult, his agent, his court appointed representative or the department, through the attorney general or the district attorney, may petition the court to set aside or modify the order at any time.
(d) The vulnerable adult may be placed by the court in a hospital or other suitable facility which is appropriate under the circumstances. The person, hospital or facility in whose care the vulnerable adult is placed shall immediately notify the person responsible for the care and custody of the vulnerable adult, if known, of the placement. Notification shall not be required if the alleged perpetrator is the person responsible for the care and custody of the vulnerable adult unless the court orders the notification.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-108. Records confidential; exception.||Except as provided under W.S. 35-20-116, records of the department or other agency or the court pertaining to a vulnerable adult receiving protective services under this act are not open to public inspection. Information contained in those records shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner that will identify any individual. The records may be made available for inspection only upon application to the court pursuant to W.S. 35-20-112 for good cause shown.|
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-110. When access to vulnerable adult denied; injunction.||If access to the vulnerable adult is denied to law enforcement or the department seeking to investigate a report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect of a vulnerable adult, the investigator may seek an injunction to prevent interference with the investigation. The court may issue the injunction if it finds that the person whose duty it is to investigate the report is acting within the scope of his duty and has been unreasonably denied access to the vulnerable adult.|
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-111. Duty to report.||(a) The duty to report imposed by W.S. 35-20-103 applies without exception to a person or agency who knows, or has sufficient knowledge which a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have to believe, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect.|
(b) Any person or agency who knows or has sufficient knowledge which a prudent and cautious man in similar circumstances would have to believe that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, exploited, intimidated or abandoned, or is committing self neglect, and knowingly fails to report in accordance with this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-112. Confidentiality of records; penalties; access to information.||(a) All records concerning reports and investigations of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect are confidential except as provided by W.S. 35-20-116 and except that the record shall be available to the vulnerable adult who is the subject of the record, his legal guardian, an agent under an advance healthcare directive as provided in W.S. 35-22-403, a healthcare surrogate as provided in W.S. 35-22-406, the personal representative of a deceased vulnerable adult or a decedent's wrongful death representative appointed to bring an action for the benefit of the vulnerable adult's beneficiaries. Names of other vulnerable adults shall be redacted from the records prior to disclosure pursuant to this subsection. Records shall not be disclosed, however, to any person named as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult. Any person who intentionally violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.|
(b) The following records are confidential and not subject to disclosure under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205:
(i) A report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect under this act;
(ii) The identity of the person making the report; and
(iii) Except as provided by this section, all files, reports, records, communications, and working papers used or developed in an investigation made under this act or in providing services as a result of an investigation.
(c) Upon application made in the manner and form prescribed by the department, the department may give access to records otherwise confidential under this section to any of the following persons or agencies for purposes directly related with the administration of this act:
(i) A local adult protective agency;
(ii) A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, conservator, guardian, adult protection team or attorney representing the vulnerable adult who is the subject of the report;
(iii) A physician or surgeon who is treating a vulnerable adult; and
(iv) Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents of adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment.
(d) Motions for access to records concerning vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation, abandonment or self neglect held by the state agency or local protective agency shall be made with the district court in the county where the vulnerable adult resides. A court may order disclosure of confidential records only if:
(i) A motion is filed with the court requesting:
(A) Release of the records; and
(B) A hearing on the request for release of the records; or
(C) All interested parties stipulate to the release.
(ii) The motion for hearing is served on the department or investigating state agency and each interested party; and
(iii) The court determines after the hearing and an in-camera review of the records that disclosure is necessary for the determination of all issues, in which case disclosure shall be limited to an in-camera inspection, or specifically limited disclosure, unless the court finds public disclosure is necessary.
(e) The department or investigating state agency may establish procedures to exchange with another state agency or governmental entity records that are necessary for the department, state agency or entity to properly execute its respective duties and responsibilities to provide services to vulnerable adults under this act or other law. An exchange of records under this subsection does not affect whether the records are subject to disclosure under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205.
(f) A physician or person in charge of an institution, school, facility or agency making a report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall receive, upon written application to the state agency, a written summary of the records concerning the subject of the report.
(g) Any person, agency or institution given access to records concerning the subject of the report under W.S. 35-20-111 shall not divulge or make public any records except as required for court proceedings.
(h) Confidential records may be disclosed only for a purpose consistent with this act and as provided by department or investigating state agency rules and regulations and applicable federal law.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-113. False report; penalty.||A person commits a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, if he reports information pursuant to this act and knows or has reason to know the information is false or lacks factual foundation.|
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-114. Immunity.||(a) A person or agency filing a report under this act or testifying or otherwise participating in any judicial proceeding arising from a petition, report, or investigation is immune from civil or criminal liability on account of the person's petition, report, testimony or participation, unless the person knowingly or negligently reports information that is false or lacks factual foundation. The immunity provided under this subsection applies only to those persons whose professional communications are generally confidential or subject to the Wyoming Public Records Act, W.S. 16-4-201 et seq. including:|
(ii) Members of the clergy;
(iii) Medical practitioners;
(iv) Social workers;
(v) Mental health professionals;
(vi) Nursing home staff; assisted living facility staff; adult day care center staff; adult family-care home staff; social worker, or other professional adult care, residential or institutional staff;
(vii) State, county or municipal criminal justice employees or law enforcement officers; and
(viii) Bank, savings and loan or credit union officers, trustees or employees.
(b) A person or agency, including an authorized department volunteer, medical personnel or law enforcement officer who, at the request of the department, participates in an investigation required by this act or in an action that results from that investigation is immune from civil or criminal liability for any act or omission relating to that participation if the person acted in good faith and, if applicable, within the course or scope of the person’s assigned responsibilities or duties.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-115. Central registry of adult protection cases; establishment; operation; amendment, expungement or removal of records; classification and expungement of reports; statement of person accused.||(a) The department shall establish and maintain a record of all adult protection reports and a central registry of under investigation and substantiated adult protection cases under this act.|
(b) Through the recording of reports, the department's recordkeeping system shall be operated to assist the department to:
(i) Immediately identify and locate prior reports of cases of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult to assist in the diagnosis of suspicious circumstances and the assessment of the needs of the vulnerable adult and his caregiver;
(ii) Continuously monitor the current status of all pending adult protection cases;
(iii) Evaluate the effectiveness of existing laws and programs through the development and analysis of statistical and other information; and
(iv) Maintain a central registry of "under investigation" reports and "substantiated" reports of abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults for provision of information to qualifying applicants pursuant to W.S. 35-20-116. Within six (6) months of being placed in the central registry, all reports classified as "under investigation" shall be reclassified as "substantiated" or expunged from the central registry, unless the state agency is notified of an open criminal investigation or criminal prosecution. Unsubstantiated reports shall not be contained within the central registry.
(c) Upon written application of the department or any substantiated person and upon good cause shown and notice to the department, the subject of the report and all interested parties, the department may amend, expunge or remove any record from the central registry.
(d) Any person named as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult in any substantiated report maintained in the central registry shall have the right to have included in the report a statement concerning the incident giving rise to the report. Any person seeking to include a statement pursuant to this subsection shall provide the department with the statement. The department shall provide notice to any person identified as a perpetrator of this right to submit a statement in any substantiated report maintained in the central registry.
(e) Any person convicted of, or having pled guilty or no contest to, a crime which includes the abuse, neglect, exploitation, intimidation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult shall have that conviction reported to the department by the court and the report shall be maintained in the central registry.
|Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-20-116. Access to central registry records pertaining to adult protection cases; child and vulnerable adult abuse and registry account.||(a) Upon appropriate application and for employee or volunteer screening purposes, the department shall provide to any employer or entity whose employees or volunteers may have unsupervised access to vulnerable adults in the course of their employment or volunteer service a record summary concerning abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of a vulnerable adult involving a named individual or shall confirm that no record exists. The state agency shall provide the results of the records check to the applicant by certified mail if the records check confirms the existence of a report "under investigation" or a "substantiated" finding of abuse or neglect. Otherwise, the state agency shall provide the results of the records check to the applicant in accordance with agency rules and by United States mail. The written results shall confirm that there is a report "under investigation", a "substantiated" finding of abuse or neglect on the central registry naming the individual or confirm that no record exists. When the individual is identified on the registry as a "substantiated" perpetrator of abuse or neglect, the report to the applicant shall contain information with respect to the date of the finding, specific type of abuse or neglect, a copy of the perpetrator's voluntary statement and whether an appeal is pending. Any applicant receiving a report under this section identifying an individual as "under investigation" shall be notified by the department as to the final disposition of that investigation and whether an appeal is pending. The applicant, or an agent on behalf of the applicant, shall submit a fee of not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) as established by the department and proof satisfactory to the department that the prospective or current employee or volunteer whose records are being checked consents to the release of the information to the applicant. The applicant shall use the information received only for purposes of screening prospective or current employees and volunteers who may, through their employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to vulnerable adults. Applicants, their employees or other agents shall not otherwise divulge or make public any information received under this section. The department shall notify any applicant receiving information under this subsection of any subsequent reclassification of the information pursuant to W.S. 35-20-115(c). The department shall screen all prospective employees in conformity with the procedure provided under this subsection.|
(b) There is created a program administration account to be known as the child and vulnerable adult abuse registry account. All fees collected under subsection (a) of this section shall be credited to this account.
(c) Any person may request a central registry screen and summary report on themselves as provided by subsection (a) of this section upon payment of the fee required by subsection (a) of this section.