153A-257. Legal residence for social service purposes.

(a) Legal residence in a county determines which county is responsible (i) for financial support of a needy person who meets the eligibility requirements for a public assistance or medical care program offered by the county or (ii) for other social services required by the person.

Legal residence in a county is determined as follows:

(1) Except as modified below, a person has legal residence in the county in which he resides.

(2) If a person is in a hospital, mental institution, nursing home, boarding home, confinement facility, or similar institution or facility, he does not, solely because of that fact, have legal residence in the county in which the institution or facility is located.

(3) A minor has the legal residence of the parent or other relative with whom he resides. If the minor does not reside with a parent or relative and is not in a foster home, hospital, mental institution, nursing home, boarding home, educational institution, confinement facility, or similar institution or facility, he has the legal residence of the person with whom he resides. Any other minor has the legal residence of his mother, or if her residence is not known then the legal residence of his father; if his mother's or father's residence is not known, the minor is a legal resident of the county in which he is found.

(b) A legal residence continues until a new one is acquired, either within or outside this State. When a new legal residence is acquired, all former legal residences terminate.

(c) This section is intended to replace the law defining "legal settlement." Therefore any general law or local act that refers to "legal settlement" is deemed to refer to this section and the rules contained herein.

(d) If two or more county departments of social services disagree regarding the legal residence of a minor in a child abuse, neglect, or dependency case, any one of the county departments of social services may refer the issue to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services, for resolution. The Director of the Division of Social Services or the Director's designee shall review the pertinent background facts of the case and shall determine which county department of social services shall be responsible for providing protective services and financial support for the minor in question. (1777, c. 117, s. 16, P.R.; R.C., c. 86, s. 12; Code, s. 3544; Rev., s. 1333; C.S., s. 1342; 1931, c. 120; 1943, c. 753, s. 2; 1959, c. 272; 1973, c. 822, s. 1; 2003-304, s. 7.)