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NCJ Number: 134855 Find in a Library
Title: Statutory Immunity Under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act: From First Impression to Present Day
Journal: Journal of Juvenile Law  Volume:12  Dated:(1991)  Pages:16-25
Author(s): R F Danelen
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The California Legislature enacted the Child Abuse Reporting Law in 1980 to identify and protect children from abuse, and the act grants mandated reporters absolute immunity from liability for reporting child abuse.
Abstract: Mandated reporters include child care custodians such as teachers, health practitioners such as physicians, police officers, and commercial film processors. Mandated reporters are required to report any known or suspected instances of child abuse. Immunity is defined as freedom from duty or penalty. As a further protection from financial hardship mandated reporters may incur as a result of fulfilling their duty to report, the act authorizes the payment of reasonable attorney fees for persons who are sued as a result of making a required report. Several California court cases have reaffirmed the absolute immunity of mandated child abuse reporters. The Storch case established the proposition that mandated reporters are granted absolute immunity from civil liability for reporting suspected child abuse. The Krikorian case affirmed an expansive approach to include not only the report, but also professional activities contributing to the identification of child abuse. The Cream case attempted to impose further requirements on a mandated reporter after the initial report is made, while the Newton case established that the act's immunity provision does not apply to persons required to investigate reported child abuse. The grant of immunity is simply designed to ensure adequate reporting. 65 footnotes
Main Term(s): Child abuse reporting statutes
Index Term(s): California; Civil liability; State laws
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