The DPPC's Legal Unit provides legal advice and guidance on matters before the DPPC. This includes assistance provided during investigations to DPPC staff and staff of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). In addition, the Legal Unit performs the following functions within the DPPC:
  • Conducts Petitions for Review for the Executive Director when the victim, abuser or another party involved in an investigation, requests a review of the investigation findings

  • Secures Access Warrants when law enforcement and/or 19C investigators are unreasonably denied access to an alleged victim of abuse

  • Obtains judicial protective orders when an alleged victim of abuse is at immediate risk of harm and is not able to consent to the provision of protective services due to a mental or physical impairment

  • Responds to reports of mandated reporters' failure to report abuse as required by M.G.L. c. 19C §10

  • Acts as the DPPC's Keeper of Records and ensures that all responses to requests for DPPC records are compliant with all statutory requirements