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United States

609:

A. With respect to mandatory reporters:

(1) Notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication, any mandatory reporter who has cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect or that abuse or neglect was a contributing factor in a child’s death shall report in accordance with Article 610.

(2) Violation of the duties imposed upon a mandatory reporter subjects the offender to criminal prosecution authorized by R.S. 14:403(A)(1).

(3)(a) To familiarize mandatory reporters, as defined by Children’s Code Article 603, with their legal mandate for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, such mandatory reporters shall be offered training on the statutory requirements and responsibility of reporting child abuse and neglect. This training shall be made available by the child welfare division of the Department of Children and Family Services or any other mechanism as approved by the department as long as it includes information on the reporting procedure and the consequences of failing to report.

(b) Each mandatory reporter may obtain mandatory reporting training as each mandatory reporter believes to be necessary in accordance with Subsubparagraph (a) or (d) of this Subparagraph.

(c) The appropriate state regulatory department, board, commission, or agency for each category of mandatory reporter may provide continuing education credit for the completion of the training pursuant to this Paragraph.

(d) Any entity, including but not limited to hospitals, educational and religious institutions, and nonprofits, may provide its employees, volunteers, or educational attendees with equivalent training pursuant to Subsubparagraph (a) of this Subparagraph.

B. With respect to permitted reporters, any other person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect, including a judge of any court of this state, may report in accordance with Article 610.

C. The filing of a report, known to be false, may subject the offender to criminal prosecution authorized by R.S. 14:403(A)(3).

403:

A.(1)(a) Any person who, pursuant to Children’s Code Article 609(A), is required to report the abuse or neglect of a child and knowingly and willfully fails to so report shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(b)(i) Any person who, pursuant to Children’s Code Article 609(A), is required to report the sexual abuse of a child, or the abuse or neglect of a child that results in the serious bodily injury, neurological impairment, or death of the child, and the person knowingly and willfully fails to so report, shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars, imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than three years, or both.

(ii) Repealed by Acts 2019, No. 2, §3.

(2) Any person, any employee of a local child protection unit of the Department of Children and Family Services, any employee of any local law enforcement agency, any employee or agent of any state department, or any school employee who knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of Chapter 5 of Title VI of the Children’s Code, or who knowingly and willfully obstructs the procedures for receiving and investigating reports of child abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, or who discloses without authorization confidential information about or contained within such reports shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(3) Any person who reports a child as abused or neglected or sexually abused to the department or to any law enforcement agency, knowing that such information is false, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(4)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, any person who is eighteen years of age or older who witnesses the sexual abuse of a child and knowingly and willfully fails to report the sexual abuse to law enforcement or to the Department of Children and Family Services as required by Children’s Code Article 610, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.

(b) For purposes of this Paragraph, “sexual abuse” shall include but is not limited to the perpetration or attempted perpetration of R.S. 14:41, 42, 42.1, 43, 43.1, 43.2, 43.3, 43.4, 46.2, 46.3, 80, 81, 81.1, 81.2, 86, 89, or 89.1.

B. In any proceeding concerning the abuse or neglect or sexual abuse of a child or the cause of such condition, evidence may not be excluded on any ground of privilege, except in the case of communications between an attorney and his client or between a priest, rabbi, duly ordained minister or Christian Science practitioner and his communicant

Year of enactment

1991

Last Amended

2013, 2018