§ 33-15-6.1. National criminal background checks for persons appointed limited guardian or guardian.
(a) In order to assist and protect Rhode Island's at-risk elderly and others over whom a limited guardian or guardian would be required, all persons applying for appointment as a limited guardian or guardian shall apply to the Rhode Island attorney general, the Rhode Island state police, or to the appropriate local police department for a nationwide criminal records check, utilizing a standard form to be provided by the probate court. The applicant whose criminal records check is being conducted shall be responsible for the payment of the costs of the criminal records check. The check will conform to the applicable federal standards, including the taking of fingerprints of the applicant.
(b) An individual may be appointed as a temporary limited guardian or temporary guardian for a period not to exceed ten (10) days, pending completion of the national criminal background check required by this section.
(c) For the purposes of this section, information produced by a national criminal records check pertaining to conviction for the following crimes may be considered as "disqualifying information": murder; voluntary manslaughter; involuntary manslaughter; first-degree sexual assault; second-degree sexual assault; third-degree sexual assault; assault on persons sixty (60) years of age or older; assault with intent to commit specified felonies (murder, robbery, rape, burglary, or the abominable and detestable crime against nature); felony assault; patient abuse; neglect or mistreatment of patients; burglary; first-degree arson; robbery; felony drug offenses; felony larceny or felony banking law violations; felony obtaining money under false pretenses; felony embezzlement; abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation of adults with severe impairments; exploitation of elders; or a crime under section 1128(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7(a)).
(d) For the purposes of this section, "conviction" means, in addition to judgments of conviction entered by a court subsequent to a finding of guilty or a plea of guilty, those instances where the defendant has entered a plea of nolo contendere and has received a sentence of probation and those instances where a defendant has entered into a deferred sentence agreement.
(e) If any disqualifying information is discovered with respect to the applicant, the bureau of criminal identification of the attorney general, state police, or the local police department will inform the probate court, in writing, without disclosing the nature of the disqualifying information, that an item of disqualifying nature has been discovered. In addition, the bureau of criminal identification of the attorney general, state police, or the local police department will inform the applicant, in writing, of the nature of the disqualifying information. An applicant against whom disqualifying information has been found may request that a copy of the criminal background report be sent to the probate court which shall make the determination of suitability of the applicant.
(f) At the conclusion of any background check required by this chapter, the bureau of criminal identification of the attorney general, state police, or the local police department will promptly destroy the fingerprint card of the applicant.
(g) In those situations in which no disqualifying information has been found, the bureau of criminal identification of the attorney general, state police, or the local police department shall inform both the applicant and the probate court of this fact.
(h) The probate court shall maintain a record subject to review by the department of attorney general of the evidence that criminal background checks have been initiated and completed and the results thereof, in compliance with the provisions of this section for all persons seeking appointment as a guardian or limited guardian after January 1, 2020.
(P.L. 2019, ch. 273, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 282, § 1.)