Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC


  ( Division 4.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

CHAPTER 7. Appeal Procedure [4700 - 4731]

  ( Chapter 7 repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 5. Access to Records [4725 - 4731]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2. )


For the purposes of this article:

(a) “Access” means the right to inspect, review, and obtain an accurate copy of any record obtained in the course of providing services under this division. A service agency may make a reasonable charge in an amount not to exceed the actual cost of reproducing the record, unless the imposition of the cost would prohibit the exercise of the right to obtain a copy. No charge may be made to search for or retrieve any record.

(b) “Record” means any item of information directly relating to a person with developmental disabilities or to one who is believed to have a developmental disability which is maintained by a service agency, whether recorded by handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, or other means.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2.)


Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5328, access to records shall be provided to an applicant for, or recipient of, services or to his or her authorized representative, including the person appointed as a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to Section 319, 361, or 726, for purposes of the appeal procedure under this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 471, Sec. 12. (SB 368) Effective January 1, 2012.)


Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to compel a physician, psychologist, social worker, nurse, attorney, or other professional person to reveal information which has been given to him or her in confidence by members of a recipient’s or applicant’s family.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2.)


Each service agency shall adopt procedures for granting of requests by persons authorized under Section 4726 for access to records during regular business hours, provided that access shall be granted no later than three business days following the date of receipt of the oral or written request for access. Procedures shall include notice of the location of all records and the provision of qualified personnel to interpret records if requested.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 16, Sec. 23. Effective May 12, 1983. Operative October 1, 1983, by Sec. 28 of Ch. 16.)


Whenever access to service agency records is requested, the service agency shall provide at least the following information:

(a) The types of records maintained by the service agency.

(b) The position of the official responsible for the maintenance of records.

(c) The right of access to the records, and the policies of the service agency for obtaining access, including the cost, if any, consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 4725, to be charged for reproducing copies of records.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2.)


Any person who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 506, Sec. 2.)


(a) Each consumer or any representative acting on behalf of any consumer or consumers, who believes that any right to which a consumer is entitled has been abused, punitively withheld, or improperly or unreasonably denied by a regional center, developmental center, or service provider, may pursue a complaint as provided in this section.

(b) Initial referral of any complaint taken pursuant to this section shall be to the director of the regional center from which the consumer receives case management services. If the consumer resides in a state developmental center, the complaint shall be made to the director of that state developmental center. The director shall, within 20 working days of receiving a complaint, investigate the complaint and send a written proposed resolution to the complainant and, if applicable, to the service provider. The written proposed resolution shall include a telephone number and mailing address for referring the proposed resolution in accordance with subdivision (c).

(c) If the complainant is not satisfied with the proposed resolution, the complainant may refer the complaint, in writing, to the Director of Developmental Services within 15 working days of receipt of the proposed resolution. The director shall, within 45 days of receiving a complaint, issue a written administrative decision and send a copy of the decision to the complainant, the director of the regional center or state developmental center, and the service provider, if applicable. If there is no referral to the department, the proposed resolution shall become effective on the 20th working day following receipt by the complainant.

(d) The department shall annually compile the number of complaints filed, by each regional center and state developmental center catchment area, the subject matter of each complaint, and a summary of each decision. Copies shall be made available to any person upon request.

(e) This section shall not be used to resolve disputes concerning the nature, scope, or amount of services and supports that should be included in an individual program plan, for which there is an appeal procedure established in this division, or disputes regarding rates or audit appeals for which there is an appeal procedure established in regulations. Those disputes shall be resolved through the appeals procedure established by this division or in regulations.

(f) All consumers or, where appropriate, their parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative, shall be notified in writing in a language which they comprehend, of the right to file a complaint pursuant to this section when they apply for services from a regional center or are admitted to a developmental center, and at each regularly scheduled planning meeting.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 171, Sec. 28. Effective August 10, 2001.)

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