42 CFR § 2.67 - Orders authorizing the use of undercover agents and informants to investigate employees or agents of a part 2 program in connection with a criminal matter.

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§ 2.67 Orders authorizing the use of undercover agents and informants to investigate employees or agents of a part 2 program in connection with a criminal matter.

(a)Application. A court order authorizing the placement of an undercover agent or informant in a part 2 program as an employee or patient may be applied for by any law enforcement or prosecutorial agency which has reason to believe that employees or agents of the part 2 program are engaged in criminal misconduct.

(b)Notice. The part 2 program director must be given adequate notice of the application and an opportunity to appear and be heard (for the limited purpose of providing evidence on the statutory and regulatory criteria for the issuance of the court order in accordance with § 2.67(c)), unless the application asserts that:

(1) The part 2 program director is involved in the suspected criminal activities to be investigated by the undercover agent or informant; or

(2) The part 2 program director will intentionally or unintentionally disclose the proposed placement of an undercover agent or informant to the employees or agents of the program who are suspected of criminal activities.

(c)Criteria. An order under this section may be entered only if the court determines that good cause exists. To make this determination the court must find all of the following:

(1) There is reason to believe that an employee or agent of the part 2 program is engaged in criminal activity;

(2) Other ways of obtaining evidence of the suspected criminal activity are not available or would not be effective; and

(3) The public interest and need for the placement of an undercover agent or informant in the part 2 program outweigh the potential injury to patients of the part 2 program, physician-patient relationships and the treatment services.

(d)Content of order. An order authorizing the placement of an undercover agent or informant in a part 2 program must:

(1) Specifically authorize the placement of an undercover agent or an informant;

(2) Limit the total period of the placement to six months;

(3) Prohibit the undercover agent or informant from disclosing any patient identifying information obtained from the placement except as necessary to investigate or prosecute employees or agents of the part 2 program in connection with the suspected criminal activity; and

(4) Include any other measures which are appropriate to limit any potential disruption of the part 2 program by the placement and any potential for a real or apparent breach of patient confidentiality; for example, sealing from public scrutiny the record of any proceeding for which disclosure of a patient's record has been ordered.

(e)Limitation on use of information. No information obtained by an undercover agent or informant placed in a part 2 program under this section may be used to investigate or prosecute any patient in connection with a criminal matter or as the basis for an application for an order under § 2.65.