Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1331 – Child, abused/neglected, reporting
SENATE BILL NO. 1331
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S1331................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT - Amends existing law to provide that a parent,
stepparent, grandparent, stepgrandparent, guardian or anyone having care,
custody or control of a child be required to report abuse, abandonment or
neglect of a child.
01/26 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/27 Rpt prt - to Jud
01/29 Rpt out - to Health/Wel
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session - 1998
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1331
BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO REPORTING OF ABUSE, ABANDONMENT OR NEGLECT; AMENDING SECTION
3 16-1619, IDAHO CODE, TO REQUIRE THAT A PARENT, STEPPARENT, GRANDPARENT,
4 STEPGRANDPARENT, GUARDIAN OR ANYONE HAVING CARE, CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE
5 CHILD BE REQUIRED TO REPORT ABUSE, ABANDONMENT OR NEGLECT OF A CHILD.
6 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
7 SECTION 1. That Section 16-1619, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
8 amended to read as follows:
9 16-1619. REPORTING OF ABUSE, ABANDONMENT OR NEGLECT. (a) Any physician,
10 resident on a hospital staff, intern, nurse, coroner, school teacher, day care
11 personnel, social worker, parent, stepparent, grandparent,
12 stepgrandparent, guardian, anyone having care, custody or control of the
13 child, or other person having reason to believe that a child under the
14 age of eighteen (18) years has been abused, abandoned or neglected or who
15 observes the child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would
16 reasonably result in abuse, abandonment or neglect shall report or cause to be
17 reported within twenty-four (24) hours such conditions or circumstances to the
18 proper law enforcement agency or the department. The department shall be
19 informed by law enforcement of any report made directly to it. When the atten-
20 dance of a physician, resident, intern, nurse, day care worker, or social
21 worker is pursuant to the performance of services as a member of the staff of
22 a hospital or similar institution, he shall notify the person in charge of the
23 institution or his designated delegate who shall make the necessary reports.
24 (b) For purposes of subsection (c) of this section the term "duly
25 ordained minister of religion" means a person who has been ordained or set
26 apart, in accordance with the ceremonial, ritual or discipline of a church or
27 religious organization which has been established on the basis of a community
28 of religious faith, belief, doctrines and practices, to hear confessions and
29 confidential communications in accordance with the bona fide doctrines or dis-
30 cipline of that church or religious organization.
31 (c) The notification requirements of subsection (a) of this section do
32 not apply to a duly ordained minister of religion, with regard to any confes-
33 sion or confidential communication made to him in his ecclesiastical capacity
34 in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which he belongs if:
35 (1) The church qualifies as tax-exempt under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3);
36 (2) The confession or confidential communication was made directly to the
37 duly ordained minister of religion; and
38 (3) The confession or confidential communication was made in the manner
39 and context which places the duly ordained minister of religion specifi-
40 cally and strictly under a level of confidentiality that is considered
41 inviolate by canon law or church doctrine. A confession or confidential
42 communication made under any other circumstances does not fall under this
1 (d) Failure to report as required in this section shall be a misdemeanor.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The legislation amends Idaho Code 16-1619 and puts responsibility on who shall report
child abuse, abandonment or neglect. People who have the most trusted relationship with a child
as well as a high duty to protect the child are the people who care for them day in and day out.
Children must rely on these people to protect them. The philosophy behind this amendment is to
clearly state that parents, stepparents, grandparents, step grandparents, guardians, or a person
who has primary care and responsibility of a child have a duty to report the abuse rather than
silently sit and watch the abuse happen to a child. This legislation will encourage people who are
first hand witnesses to child abuse to report that abuse.
The amendment has the potential to increase misdemeanor prosecution of those who fail to
report child abuse. However, it is anticipated that the number of this type of prosecution will be
very few. There will be little increase in any investigation costs because the facts that are
investigated and proven in a child abuse case against a defendant are parallel to investigation of
those who did not report the abuse. Additionally, by encouraging those who see the child abuse
to come forward, there is the potential of preventing costs in the criminal justice system by
nipping abuse in the bud rather than waiting for serious injury or death to result.
Contact: Connie Vietz
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/ FISCAL NOTE
Bill No S 1331