History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner
Case Look-up Courts Directories Educational Resources E-Services Juror Information Online Media Resource Center Opinions Opportunities Self-Help Frequently Asked Questions Home Attorneys menu


Print this page Print


As stated in the introduction to this guide, a significant underlying principle for confidentiality is individual privacy and the right to control the dissemination of personal information. Thus, a person has the right to see and obtain copies of his or her own records and may always consent to the disclosure of those records to others provided a court order is not required for release of certain records. When the subject of the records is a child, the parent or guardian has the right to access and authority to consent to their disclosure, unless there is a court order restricting access.

To be consistent with the principles of autonomous decision-making, consent must be freely given and based on a complete understanding of the ramifications of disclosure of confidential information. "Informed consent" means simply that the person consenting to the disclosure is aware of the confidentiality of the records, the reason the agency is seeking the information, and what use the agency will make of the information. It also includes an understanding of whether the information may be redisclosed.

Many agencies and providers that work with, or seek access to, confidential information have consent forms for parties to sign to authorize the release of otherwise confidential information from records involving an individual they are serving. By signing an authorization to release information, a party is consenting to provide another party with access to otherwise confidential information or records about an individual. However, signing a release doesn’t mean the complete loss of confidentiality because most authorization forms are subject to limitations. The release form should clearly state all the necessary information to not only provide enough information to allow the person’s consent to be informed consent, but also be specific enough to guide the person providing the information and the person receiving it to properly protect it from inappropriate disclosure.

Inappropriate disclosure may occur when records are released to an agency or person not authorized by the release form to obtain it or when the authorized purpose for which the records may be released is not adhered to. A release form should carefully specify the limits of redisclosure and the time period for which the release is valid so that the receiving agency can know when it may further disclose the records to another agency.

While the release of any confidential information is to be determined within the context of a specific case, numerous agencies have standardized release forms that can be adapted to many different situations.


Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQ's | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Website Policies

Copyright © 2013, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch