I. A law enforcement agency may request from the court an order compelling the department or a health care provider to disclose a child‘s medical records for the purpose of the investigation of child abuse or neglect, a child fatality, or any other crime against a child.
(a) The law enforcement agency shall present to the court the following evidence by affidavit or orally under oath, including telephonically if necessary:

Terms Used In New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:25-a

  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Child: means any person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • children: means any individual who is under the age of 18 years. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Court: means the district court, unless otherwise indicated. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Department: means the department of health and human services. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of these laws, shall mean the section next preceding or following that in which such reference is made, unless some other is expressly designated. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:13
  • Guardian: means a parent or person appointed by a court having jurisdiction with the duty and authority to make important decisions in matters having a permanent effect on the life and development of the child, and to be concerned about the general welfare of the child. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Notice: means communication given in person or in writing to the parent, guardian, custodian or other interested party not having custody or control of the child, of the time and place fixed for hearing; and it shall be given in all cases, unless it appears to the court that such notice will be ineffectual. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • oath: shall include "affirmation" in all cases where by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath; and, in like cases, the word "sworn" shall include the word "affirmed. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:24
  • Parent: means mother, father, adoptive parent, but such term shall not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntary relinquishment. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Probable cause: means facts and circumstances based upon accurate and reliable information, including hearsay, that would justify a reasonable person to believe that a child subject to a report under this chapter is abused or neglected. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • seal: shall include an impression of the official seal made upon the paper alone, as well as an impression thereof made by means of wax, or a wafer, affixed thereto. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:11
  • state: when applied to different parts of the United States, may extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall include said district and territories. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:4
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • under oath: when used in connection with a document to be filed with the court or a state agency, which does not require a notary acknowledgment or notarization under New Hampshire law, shall be satisfied by electronic signature "under the penalty of perjury" if the document is filed with the court or state agency electronically, and if the document is accompanied by a statement under the electronic signature stating "the penalty for perjury may include a fine or imprisonment or both. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:52

(1) A statement of facts establishing probable cause to suspect that a child has been the victim of a crime, and that the child’s medical records will contain evidence of that crime;
(2) A representation that the information is unavailable from another source; and
(3) The names and addresses of the child and the custodial parents, non-custodial parents, legal custodians, or other guardians of the child, if known.
(b) Upon a showing of cause by a law enforcement agency why notice would compromise the investigation, put the child at risk of harm, or for other good cause, the court shall prohibit the health care provider and its attorneys, officers, directors, employees, contractors, or any other agent for the provider from notifying the child and the custodial parents, non-custodial parents, legal custodians, or other guardians of the child about the existence or contents of the order or that information has been furnished pursuant to the order. Such a showing shall be based on facts made by affidavit or orally under oath. Upon issuance of the order, the health care provider shall provide the medical records within 12 hours unless otherwise provided by the court or by agreement. The court shall order the law enforcement agency to notify the child’s parent or guardian of the ex parte order within 60 days of issuance; provided, however, that upon a showing of good cause, the court may extend the period beyond 60 days, but in no event beyond 180 days.
(c) If the law enforcement agency satisfies the requirements of subparagraph (a) but not subparagraph (b), the court shall order the law enforcement agency to immediately serve a parent or guardian and the health care provider with notice of the request. The parent or guardian and health care provider shall have 5 days from receipt of notice to file an objection. If no objection is made, the court shall order the health care provider to produce the records to the law enforcement agency within 7 days. If an objection is made, the health care provider shall be ordered to provide the records to the trial court within 7 days from the date of the objection by producing the records under seal for in camera review by the court. The court shall issue an order within 30 days of receipt of the records.
(d) The court may issue such order by telephone, facsimile, or email, and shall include written findings.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of a health care provider to unilaterally disclose to a law enforcement agency a child’s medical records or information about a child’s medical condition as otherwise permitted by law, including if the health care provider, in the exercise of its professional judgment, believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm to the child or other potential victims.
II. Upon notice by a law enforcement agency of a court order permitting access to records for use in the investigation of the abuse or neglect of a child, a child fatality, or any other crime against a child pursuant to RSA 169-C or the criminal code, a health care provider shall permit the law enforcement agency to inspect and copy the medical records, including but not limited to prenatal and birth records, of the child or children involved in the investigation without the consent of the child, or parent or guardian of the child.
III. A health care provider who in good faith discloses medical records for the purpose of an investigation of the abuse or neglect of a child to the law enforcement agency shall not be civilly or criminally liable for the disclosure.
IV. The law enforcement agency in possession of medical records pursuant to this section shall, upon the request of the department or another law enforcement agency, be authorized to re-disclose the medical records to the department or other law enforcement agencies solely for the purpose of conducting investigations of child abuse or neglect, child fatalities, other crimes against a child, and any subsequent actions under this chapter or criminal proceedings. Medical records disclosed under this section shall not be used or further disclosed for any other purpose without a court order. Medical records provided pursuant to this section shall be exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A.
V. For the purposes of this section, the term "law enforcement agency" shall include the attorney general, a county attorney, a county sheriff, the state police, and any local police department.