senate Bill S824A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Enacts provisions relating to the reporting of child abuse

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 10, 2014 print number 824a
amend and recommit to children and families
Jan 08, 2014 referred to children and families
Jan 09, 2013 referred to children and families

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S824 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §413, add Art 6 Title 6-B §§429-a - 429-d, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1308A
2009-2010: S1793

S824 - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts provisions relating to the reporting of child abuse; delineates what persons are required to report cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement agencies; any person required to report or any clergy required to review records who willfully fails to do so shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a class D felony for the third offense or any subsequent offense; provides immunity for certain persons who in good faith made such reports to the wrong recipient.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S824

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to the reporting
of child abuse

PURPOSE:
To include "members of clergy" to the list of persons and officials
required to report or cause a report to be made when they have
reasonable cause to suspect a child coming before them in their
professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated child,
or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an
abused or maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian or
other person legally responsible for such child comes before them in
their professional or official capacity and states from personal
knowledge. fact, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would
render the child an abused or maltreated child.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One amends Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 413 of
the social services law to add "member of the clergy" to the list of
persons and officials required to report or cause a report to be made
when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child coming before them
in their professional or official capacity is an abused or
maltreated child, or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that
a child is an abused or maltreated child ~here the parent, guardian,
custodian or other person legally responsible for such child comes
before them in their professional or official capacity and states
from personal knowledge fact, conditions or circumstances which, if
correct, would render the child an abused or maltreated child.

Section Two amends Article 6 of the Social Services Law by adding a
new title 6-B - requires any physician, registered physician
assistant, surgeon, medical examiner, coroner, dentist, dental
hygienist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, resident
intern, psychologist, registered nurse, emergency medical technician,
hospital personnel engaged in admission, examination, care or
treatment of persons, member of clergy, a Christian Science
practitioner, school official, social services worker, day care center
worker, provider of group or family day care, employee or volunteer
in a residential facility or any other child care or foster care
worker, mental health professional, substance abuse counselor,
alcoholism counselor, peace officer, police officer, district
attorney or assistant district attorney, investigator employed in the
office of a district attorney or any other law enforcement official
must report to appropriate law enforcement officials when they have
reasonable cause to suspect in their professional or official
capacity that a child is an abused child.

"Abused Child" is defined a child under the age of eighteen years upon
whom a person eighteen of age or more who is not the parent of other
person legally responsible for such child's care:

o Intentionally or recklessly inflicts physical, serious injury or
death or


o Intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which
creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical
injury or death, or
o Commits or attempts to commit against a child
the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors
o Engagers in conduct prohibited under article one hundred
thirty or two hundred sixty-three of the penal law.

"Law Enforcement" is defined as a municipal police department,
sheriff's department, the division of the state police or any officer
thereof or a district attorney or assistant district attorney. It
shall not include any child protective service or any service for the
society for the prevention of cruelty to children.

"Members of Clergy" shall have the same definition as "clergyman" as
set forth in the religious corporations law and shall include and
person responsible for supervising a member of the clergy of a
religious institution or responsible for the administration of a
religious institution.

"Religious Institution" shall mean a religious corporation created to
enable its members to meet for divine worship or other religious
observances or a congregation, society, or other assemblage of
persons who are accustomed to statedly meet for divine worship or
other religious observances, without having been incorporated for
that purpose, as provided in section two of the religious
corporations law.

Unless the person confessing or confiding waives the privilege, a
member of the clergy, or other minister of any religion or duly
accredited Christian Science practitioner shall not be required to make
a report if confession was made to him or her in their professional
character as spiritual advisor.

However, if the clergy member has reasonable belief of abuse
allegations outside the scope of the confessional, they are required
to report the abuse to the proper law enforcement officials.

Nothing contained therein will exempt a clergy member from other
requirements of law to prevent perpetrator from committing other acts
of abuse.

Penalties for failure to report is a class A misdemeanor for the first
offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a Class D felony
for the third offense. Further any person required to report and
fails to do so will be civilly liable for damages proximately cause
by such failure to report.

A person who in good faith makes a report of allegations as required
by this title including a report to the wrong recipient shall have
immunity from civil liability.

Within three months of the effective date of this section, all members
of the clergy shall:


1) Review all institutional records within their control and any other
information they have obtained regarding clergy abuse of children
within 50 years prior to the effective date of this section.

2) Review to see if an perpetrators are still in active service and
report the abuse, regardless of time it was made to the District
Attorney.

This does not apply to confessions.

Penalties for failure to report is a class A misdemeanor for the first
offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a Class D felony
for the third offense.

EXISTING LAW:
New bill.

JUSTIFICATION:
Recent event have proven that there is a need for members of clergy to
report suspected and documented child abuse to authorities. There are
numerous examples of childhood abuse, going on for decades, which was
not reported. It is common sense to mandate clergy to report abuse.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.1308A - Died in Children & Families
Similar Bills:
2003-04: S.2818 Died in Senate Children & Families
2004-05: S.3967 Died in Senate Children & Families
2006: S.3967 Died in Senate Social Services,
Children & Families Committee
2007: S.1804 Died in Senate Social
Services, Children & Families Committee
2008: S.1804 Died in Senate Social
Services, Children & Families Committee
2009: S.1793 Died in Senate Codes Committee
2010: S.1793 Died in Senate Codes Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   824

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the reporting of
  child abuse

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 413 of the social
services  law,  as amended by chapter 91 of the laws of 2011, is amended
to read as follows:
  (a) The following persons and officials  are  required  to  report  or
cause  a  report to be made in accordance with this title when they have
reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming  before  them  in  their
professional  or  official capacity is an abused or maltreated child, or
when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused  or
maltreated  child  where the parent, guardian, custodian or other person
legally responsible for such child comes before them  in  their  profes-
sional  or  official  capacity and states from personal knowledge facts,
conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child an
abused or maltreated child: any physician; registered physician  assist-
ant;  surgeon;  medical  examiner;  coroner;  dentist; dental hygienist;
osteopath;  optometrist;  chiropractor;  podiatrist;  resident;  intern;
psychologist; registered nurse; social worker; emergency medical techni-
cian;  licensed  creative  arts  therapist; licensed marriage and family
therapist; licensed mental  health  counselor;  licensed  psychoanalyst;
hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treat-
ment of persons; A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY; a Christian Science practition-
er;  school official, which includes but is not limited to school teach-
er,  school  guidance  counselor,  school  psychologist,  school  social
worker,  school  nurse,  school  administrator or other school personnel
required to hold a teaching or administrative  license  or  certificate;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02908-01-3

S. 824                              2

social  services worker; director of a children's overnight camp, summer
day camp or traveling summer day camp, as  such  camps  are  defined  in
section  thirteen  hundred ninety-two of the public health law; day care
center worker; school-age child care worker; provider of family or group
family  day  care;  employee or volunteer in a residential care facility
defined in subdivision four of section four  hundred  twelve-a  of  this
title  or  any  other  child  care  or foster care worker; mental health
professional;  substance  abuse  counselor;  alcoholism  counselor;  all
persons  credentialed  by  the  office of alcoholism and substance abuse
services; peace officer; police officer; district attorney or  assistant
district  attorney;  investigator  employed  in the office of a district
attorney; or other law enforcement official.
  S 2. Article 6 of the social services law is amended by adding  a  new
title 6-B to read as follows:
                                TITLE 6-B
                        REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE TO
                             LAW ENFORCEMENT
SECTION 429-A. PERSONS   AND  OFFICIALS  REQUIRED  TO  REPORT  CASES  OF
                 SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE TO  APPROPRIATE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT
                 AGENCY.
        429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.
        429-C. IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.
        429-D. REVIEW  OF  EXISTING RECORDS FOR ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD
                 IS AN ABUSED CHILD; DISTRICT ATTORNEY; PENALTY.
  S 429-A. PERSONS AND OFFICIALS REQUIRED TO REPORT CASES  OF  SUSPECTED
CHILD  ABUSE TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. 1. (A) THE FOLLOWING
PERSONS AND OFFICIALS ARE REQUIRED  TO  REPORT  OR  CAUSE  AN  INDICATED
REPORT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE OF
THIS  ARTICLE  TO  BE MADE TO AN APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY WHEN
THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL OR  OFFICIAL
CAPACITY  THAT  A  CHILD  IS  AN ABUSED CHILD: ANY PHYSICIAN; REGISTERED
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT; SURGEON; MEDICAL EXAMINER; CORONER; DENTIST; DENTAL
HYGIENIST; OSTEOPATH; OPTOMETRIST; CHIROPRACTOR;  PODIATRIST;  RESIDENT;
INTERN;  PSYCHOLOGIST;  REGISTERED  NURSE; EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN;
HOSPITAL PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN THE ADMISSION, EXAMINATION, CARE OR TREAT-
MENT OF PERSONS; MEMBER OF THE CLERGY; A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRACTITIONER;
SCHOOL OFFICIAL; SOCIAL SERVICES WORKER; DAY CARE CENTER WORKER; PROVID-
ER OF FAMILY OR GROUP FAMILY DAY CARE; EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER IN A  RESI-
DENTIAL  CARE  FACILITY  OR  ANY OTHER CHILD CARE OR FOSTER CARE WORKER;
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL; SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR; ALCOHOLISM  COUN-
SELOR;  PEACE  OFFICER;  POLICE  OFFICER; DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR ASSISTANT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY; INVESTIGATOR EMPLOYED IN THE  OFFICE  OF  A  DISTRICT
ATTORNEY; OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.
  (B)  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "ABUSED CHILD" SHALL
MEAN A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS UPON WHOM A PERSON EIGHTEEN
YEARS OF AGE OR MORE WHO IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION
AND WHO IS NOT THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE  FOR  SUCH
CHILD'S CARE:
  (I)  INTENTIONALLY  OR  RECKLESSLY  INFLICTS  PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS
PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH, OR
  (II) INTENTIONALLY OR RECKLESSLY ENGAGES IN CONDUCT  WHICH  CREATES  A
SUBSTANTIAL  RISK  OF  SUCH  PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY OR
DEATH, OR
  (III) COMMITS OR ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT  AGAINST  A  CHILD  THE  CRIME  OF
DISSEMINATING  INDECENT  MATERIALS  TO  MINORS  PURSUANT  TO ARTICLE TWO
HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE PENAL LAW, OR

S. 824                              3

  (IV) ENGAGES IN ANY CONDUCT PROHIBITED BY ARTICLE ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY
OR TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THE PENAL LAW.
  (C) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHOR-
ITIES"  SHALL  MEAN A MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENT, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT,
THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE OR ANY OFFICER THEREOF OR A DISTRICT ATTOR-
NEY OR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION
OF LAW, LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY CHILD  PROTEC-
TIVE SERVICE OR ANY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN AS
SUCH  TERMS  ARE  DEFINED  IN  SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THIS
ARTICLE.
  (D) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "MEMBER OF  THE  CLERGY"
SHALL  HAVE  THE SAME DEFINITION AS THE TERM "CLERGYMAN" AS SET FORTH IN
SECTION TWO OF THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE ANY
PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPERVISING A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY OF A RELIGIOUS
INSTITUTION OR RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF A RELIGIOUS  INSTI-
TUTION.
  (E)  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION"
SHALL MEAN A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION CREATED TO ENABLE ITS MEMBERS TO MEET
FOR DIVINE WORSHIP OR OTHER RELIGIOUS  OBSERVANCES  OR  A  CONGREGATION,
SOCIETY,  OR  OTHER ASSEMBLAGE OF PERSONS WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO STATEDLY
MEET FOR DIVINE WORSHIP OR OTHER RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES,  WITHOUT  HAVING
BEEN  INCORPORATED  FOR  THAT PURPOSE, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION TWO OF THE
RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW.
  2. (A) UNLESS THE PERSON CONFESSING OR CONFIDING WAIVES THE PRIVILEGE,
A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY, OR  OTHER  MINISTER  OF  ANY  RELIGION  OR  DULY
ACCREDITED CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRACTITIONER, SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO MAKE
A REPORT AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION
IF  THE  CONFESSION  OR  CONFIDENCE WAS MADE TO HIM OR HER IN HIS OR HER
PROFESSIONAL CHARACTER AS SPIRITUAL ADVISOR.
  (B) WHEN A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY HAS REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT THAT A
CHILD IS AN ABUSED CHILD BASED UPON ANY INFORMATION RECEIVED OTHER  THAN
THROUGH  A  CONFESSION  OR  CONFIDENCE MADE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF
THIS SUBDIVISION, THEN SUCH MEMBER OF THE CLERGY SHALL PROMPTLY  MAKE  A
REPORT  AS  REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION
NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT HE OR SHE MAY HAVE ALSO RECEIVED A  REPORT
OF  ABUSE  THROUGH A CONFESSION OR CONFIDENCE MADE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH
(A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (C) THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL  NOT  BE
DEEMED  TO  EXEMPT A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY FROM ANY OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF
LAW TO PREVENT THE PERPETRATOR FROM COMMITTING ADDITIONAL ACTS OF ABUSE.
  3. NOTHING IN THIS TITLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE  REPORT  OF
INFORMATION  BY  A  PERSON  REQUIRED  TO REPORT WHEN SUCH INFORMATION IS
OTHERWISE PRIVILEGED FROM DISCLOSURE BY LAW.
  S 429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.  1.  ANY PERSON REQUIRED  BY
THIS TITLE TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE WHO WILLFULLY FAILS
TO DO SO SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE,
A  CLASS  E  FELONY  FOR THE SECOND OFFENSE AND A CLASS D FELONY FOR THE
THIRD OFFENSE OR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE.
  2.  ANY PERSON REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE TO REPORT A  CASE  OF  SUSPECTED
CHILD  ABUSE WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FAILS TO DO SO SHALL BE CIVILLY
LIABLE FOR THE DAMAGES PROXIMATELY CAUSED BY SUCH FAILURE.
  S 429-C. IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.   1. ANY PERSON WHO  IN  GOOD  FAITH
MAKES  A REPORT OF ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE,
INCLUDING THOSE WHO IN GOOD FAITH MAKE A REPORT TO THE WRONG  RECIPIENT,
SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT
BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS.

S. 824                              4

  2. ANY PERSON WHO REASONABLY AND IN GOOD FAITH MAKES A REPORT OF ALLE-
GATIONS  OF  CHILD  ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE, SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY
FROM CIVIL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE  RESULT  BY  REASON  OF  SUCH
ACTIONS.
  S 429-D. REVIEW OF EXISTING RECORDS FOR ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS AN
ABUSED  CHILD; DISTRICT ATTORNEY; PENALTY. 1. WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, ALL MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY  SHALL:    (A)
REVIEW  ALL  INSTITUTIONAL  RECORDS  WITHIN  THEIR CONTROL AND ANY OTHER
INFORMATION THEY HAVE OBTAINED REGARDING ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS  AN
ABUSED  CHILD  BY A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY WITHIN FIFTY YEARS PRIOR TO THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION; (B) REVIEW WHETHER THEY ARE AWARE OF ANY
OTHER ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS AN ABUSED CHILD ALLEGED TO  HAVE  BEEN
ABUSED  BY A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY WHO REMAINS ACTIVELY IN THE SERVICE OF
A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE ON WHICH SUCH ALLEGATION
WAS MADE; AND WHERE SUCH INFORMATION OR RECORDS RAISE  REASONABLE  CAUSE
TO  SUSPECT  THAT  A CHILD IS AN ABUSED CHILD, REPORT SUCH ALLEGATION TO
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.   THIS SECTION SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  INFORMATION
OBTAINED  THROUGH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH CLERGY AND PRIVILEGED
UNDER LAW.
  2. ANY INDIVIDUAL, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF
SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED  TWENTY-NINE-A  OF  THIS  TITLE, REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION TO REVIEW EXISTING RECORDS AND INFORMATION  AND  REPORT  ALLEGA-
TIONS  CONTAINED THEREIN WHO WILLFULLY FAILS TO DO SO SHALL BE GUILTY OF
A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE, A CLASS E  FELONY  FOR  THE
SECOND  OFFENSE AND A CLASS D FELONY FOR THE THIRD OFFENSE OR ANY SUBSE-
QUENT OFFENSE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become  a law.

S824A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §413, add Art 6 Title 6-B §§429-a - 429-d, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1308A
2009-2010: S1793

S824A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts provisions relating to the reporting of child abuse; delineates what persons are required to report cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement agencies; any person required to report or any clergy required to review records who willfully fails to do so shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a class D felony for the third offense or any subsequent offense; provides immunity for certain persons who in good faith made such reports to the wrong recipient.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S824A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to the reporting of child abuse

PURPOSE:

To include "members of clergy" to the list of persons and officials
required to report or cause a report to be made when they have
reasonable cause to suspect a child coming before them in their
professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated child, or
when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused
or maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian or other
person legally responsible for such child comes before them in their
professional or official capacity and states from personal knowledge.
fact; conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the
child an abused or maltreated child.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section One amends Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 413 of
the social services law to add "member of the clergy" to the list of
persons and officials required to report or cause a report to be made
when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child coming before them
in their professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated
child, or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is
an abused or maltreated child -here the parent, guardian, custodian ox
other person legally responsible for such child comes before them in
their professional or official capacity and states from personal
knowledge fact, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would
render the child an abused or maltreated child.

Section Two amends Article 6 of the Social Services Law by adding a
new title 6-B- requires any physician, registered physician assistant,
surgeon, medical examiner, coroner, dentist, dental hygienist,
osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, resident intern,
psychologist, registered nurse, emergency medical technician, hospital
personnel engaged in admission, examination, care or treatment of
persons, member of clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, school
official, social services worker, day care center worker, provider of
group or family day care, employee or volunteer in a residential
facility or any other child care or foster care worker, mental health
professional, substance abuse counselor, alcoholism counselor, peace
officer, police officer, district attorney or assistant district
attorney, investigator employed in the office of a district attorney
or any other law enforce- ment official must report to appropriate law
enforcement officials when they have reasonable cause to suspect in
their professional or official capacity that a child is an abused
child.

"Abused Child" is defined a child under the age of eighteen years upon
whom a person eighteen of age or more who is not the parent of other
person legally responsible for such child's care:

*Intentionally or recklessly inflicts physical, serious injury or
death or


*Intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a
substantial risk of such Physical injury, serious physical injury or
death, or
*Commits or attempts to commit against a child the crime of
disseminating indecent materials to minors
*Engagers in conduct prohibited under article one hundred thirty or
two hundred sixty-three of the penal law.

"Law Enforcement" is defined as a municipal police department,
sheriff's department, the division of the state police or any officer
thereof or a district attorney or assistant district attorney. It
shall not include any child protective service or any service for the
society for the prevention of cruelty to children.

"Members of Clergy" shall have the same definition as "clergyman" as
set forth in the religious corporations law and shall include and
person responsible for supervising a member of the clergy of a
religious institution or responsible for the administration of a
religious institution.

"Religious Institution" shall mean a religious corporation created to
enable its members to meet for divine worship or other religious
observances or a congregation, society, or other assemblage of persons
who are accustomed to statedly meet for divine worship or other
religious observances, without having been incorporated for that
purpose, as provided in section two of the religious corporations law.

Unless the person confessing or confiding waives the privilege, a
member of the clergy, or other minister of any religion or duly
accredited Christian Science practitioner shall not be required to
make a report if confession was made to him or her in their
professional character as spiritual advisor.

However, if the clergy member has reasonable belief of abuse
allegations outside the scope of the confessional, they are required
to report the abuse to the proper law enforcement officials.

Nothing contained therein will exempt a clergy member from other
requirements of law to prevent perpetrator from committing other acts
of abuse.

Penalties for failure to report is a class A misdemeanor for the first
offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a Class D felony
for the third offense. Further any person required to report and fails
to do so will be civilly liable for damages proximately cause by such
failure to report.

A person who in good faith makes a report of allegations as required
by this title including a report to the wrong recipient shall have
immunity from civil liability.

Within three months of the effective date of this section, all members
of the clergy shall:

1) Review all institutional records within their control and any other
information they have obtained regarding clergy abuse of children
within 50 years prior to the effective date of this section.


2) Review to see if an perpetrators are still in active service and
report the abuse, regardless of time it was made to the District
Attorney.

This does not apply to confessions.

Penalties for failure to report is a class A misdemeanor for the first
offense, a class E felony for the second offense and a Class D felony
for the third offense.

EXISTING LAW:

New bill.

JUSTIFICATION:

Recent event have proven that there is a need for members of clergy to
report suspected and documented child abuse to authorities. There are
numerous examples of childhood abuse, going on for decades, which was
not reported. It is common sense to mandate clergy to report abuse.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1308A - Died in Children & Families Similar Bills:
2003-04: S.2818 Died in Senate Children & Families
2004-05: S.3967 Died in Senate Children & Families
2006: S.3967 Died in Senate Social Services, Children & Families
Committee
2007: S.1804 Died in Senate Social Services, Children & Families
Committee
2008: S.1804 Died in Senate Social Services, Children & Families
Committee
2009: S.1793 Died in Senate Codes Committee
2010: S.1793 Died in Senate Codes Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 824--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and  Families  --
  recommitted  to  the  Committee on Children and Families in accordance
  with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the reporting of
  child abuse

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 413 of the social
services law, as amended by section 3 of part D of chapter  501  of  the
laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows:
  (a)  The  following  persons  and  officials are required to report or
cause a report to be made in accordance with this title when  they  have
reasonable  cause  to  suspect  that a child coming before them in their
professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated  child,  or
when  they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or
maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian or  other  person
legally  responsible  for  such child comes before them in their profes-
sional or official capacity and states from  personal  knowledge  facts,
conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child an
abused  or maltreated child: any physician; registered physician assist-
ant; surgeon; medical  examiner;  coroner;  dentist;  dental  hygienist;
osteopath;  optometrist;  chiropractor;  podiatrist;  resident;  intern;
psychologist; registered nurse; social worker; emergency medical techni-
cian; licensed creative arts therapist;  licensed  marriage  and  family
therapist;  licensed  mental  health  counselor; licensed psychoanalyst;
hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treat-
ment of persons; A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY; a Christian Science practition-
er; school official, which includes but is not limited to school  teach-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02908-02-4

S. 824--A                           2

er,  school  guidance  counselor,  school  psychologist,  school  social
worker, school nurse, school administrator  or  other  school  personnel
required  to  hold  a teaching or administrative license or certificate;
social  services worker; director of a children's overnight camp, summer
day camp or traveling summer day camp, as  such  camps  are  defined  in
section  thirteen  hundred ninety-two of the public health law; day care
center worker; school-age child care worker; provider of family or group
family day care; or any other child care or foster care  worker;  mental
health  professional;  substance  abuse counselor; alcoholism counselor;
all persons credentialed by the office of alcoholism and substance abuse
services; peace officer; police officer; district attorney or  assistant
district  attorney;  investigator  employed  in the office of a district
attorney; or other law enforcement official.
  S 2. Article 6 of the social services law is amended by adding  a  new
title 6-B to read as follows:
                                TITLE 6-B
                        REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE TO
                             LAW ENFORCEMENT
SECTION 429-A. PERSONS   AND  OFFICIALS  REQUIRED  TO  REPORT  CASES  OF
                 SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE TO  APPROPRIATE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT
                 AGENCY.
        429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.
        429-C. IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.
        429-D. REVIEW  OF  EXISTING RECORDS FOR ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD
                 IS AN ABUSED CHILD; DISTRICT ATTORNEY; PENALTY.
  S 429-A. PERSONS AND OFFICIALS REQUIRED TO REPORT CASES  OF  SUSPECTED
CHILD  ABUSE TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. 1. (A) THE FOLLOWING
PERSONS AND OFFICIALS ARE REQUIRED  TO  REPORT  OR  CAUSE  AN  INDICATED
REPORT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE OF
THIS  ARTICLE  TO  BE MADE TO AN APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY WHEN
THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL OR  OFFICIAL
CAPACITY  THAT  A  CHILD  IS  AN ABUSED CHILD: ANY PHYSICIAN; REGISTERED
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT; SURGEON; MEDICAL EXAMINER; CORONER; DENTIST; DENTAL
HYGIENIST; OSTEOPATH; OPTOMETRIST; CHIROPRACTOR;  PODIATRIST;  RESIDENT;
INTERN;  PSYCHOLOGIST;  REGISTERED  NURSE; EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN;
HOSPITAL PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN THE ADMISSION, EXAMINATION, CARE OR TREAT-
MENT OF PERSONS; MEMBER OF THE CLERGY; A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRACTITIONER;
SCHOOL OFFICIAL; SOCIAL SERVICES WORKER; DAY CARE CENTER WORKER; PROVID-
ER OF FAMILY OR GROUP FAMILY DAY CARE; EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER IN A  RESI-
DENTIAL  CARE  FACILITY  OR  ANY OTHER CHILD CARE OR FOSTER CARE WORKER;
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL; SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR; ALCOHOLISM  COUN-
SELOR;  PEACE  OFFICER;  POLICE  OFFICER; DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR ASSISTANT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY; INVESTIGATOR EMPLOYED IN THE  OFFICE  OF  A  DISTRICT
ATTORNEY; OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.
  (B)  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "ABUSED CHILD" SHALL
MEAN A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS UPON WHOM A PERSON EIGHTEEN
YEARS OF AGE OR MORE WHO IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION
AND WHO IS NOT THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE  FOR  SUCH
CHILD'S CARE:
  (I)  INTENTIONALLY  OR  RECKLESSLY  INFLICTS  PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS
PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH, OR
  (II) INTENTIONALLY OR RECKLESSLY ENGAGES IN CONDUCT  WHICH  CREATES  A
SUBSTANTIAL  RISK  OF  SUCH  PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY OR
DEATH, OR

S. 824--A                           3

  (III) COMMITS OR ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT  AGAINST  A  CHILD  THE  CRIME  OF
DISSEMINATING  INDECENT  MATERIALS  TO  MINORS  PURSUANT  TO ARTICLE TWO
HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE PENAL LAW, OR
  (IV)  ENGAGES  IN ANY CONDUCT PROHIBITED BY ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY
OR TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THE PENAL LAW.
  (C) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHOR-
ITIES" SHALL MEAN A MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENT,  SHERIFF'S  DEPARTMENT,
THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE OR ANY OFFICER THEREOF OR A DISTRICT ATTOR-
NEY OR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION
OF  LAW, LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY CHILD PROTEC-
TIVE SERVICE OR ANY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN AS
SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED  TWENTY-THREE  OF  THIS
ARTICLE.
  (D)  FOR  THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "MEMBER OF THE CLERGY"
SHALL HAVE THE SAME DEFINITION AS THE TERM "CLERGYMAN" AS SET  FORTH  IN
SECTION TWO OF THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE ANY
PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPERVISING A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY OF A RELIGIOUS
INSTITUTION  OR RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF A RELIGIOUS INSTI-
TUTION.
  (E) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "RELIGIOUS  INSTITUTION"
SHALL MEAN A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION CREATED TO ENABLE ITS MEMBERS TO MEET
FOR  DIVINE  WORSHIP  OR  OTHER RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES OR A CONGREGATION,
SOCIETY, OR OTHER ASSEMBLAGE OF PERSONS WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED  TO  STATEDLY
MEET  FOR  DIVINE WORSHIP OR OTHER RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES, WITHOUT HAVING
BEEN INCORPORATED FOR THAT PURPOSE, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION  TWO  OF  THE
RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW.
  2. (A) UNLESS THE PERSON CONFESSING OR CONFIDING WAIVES THE PRIVILEGE,
A  MEMBER  OF  THE  CLERGY,  OR  OTHER  MINISTER OF ANY RELIGION OR DULY
ACCREDITED CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRACTITIONER, SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO MAKE
A REPORT AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION
IF THE CONFESSION OR CONFIDENCE WAS MADE TO HIM OR HER  IN  HIS  OR  HER
PROFESSIONAL CHARACTER AS SPIRITUAL ADVISOR.
  (B) WHEN A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY HAS REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT THAT A
CHILD  IS AN ABUSED CHILD BASED UPON ANY INFORMATION RECEIVED OTHER THAN
THROUGH A CONFESSION OR CONFIDENCE MADE PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH  (A)  OF
THIS  SUBDIVISION,  THEN SUCH MEMBER OF THE CLERGY SHALL PROMPTLY MAKE A
REPORT AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF  THIS  SECTION
NOTWITHSTANDING  THE FACT THAT HE OR SHE MAY HAVE ALSO RECEIVED A REPORT
OF ABUSE THROUGH A CONFESSION OR CONFIDENCE MADE PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH
(A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (C)  THE  PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT BE
DEEMED TO EXEMPT A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY FROM ANY OTHER  REQUIREMENTS  OF
LAW TO PREVENT THE PERPETRATOR FROM COMMITTING ADDITIONAL ACTS OF ABUSE.
  3.  NOTHING  IN THIS TITLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE REPORT OF
INFORMATION BY A PERSON REQUIRED TO  REPORT  WHEN  SUCH  INFORMATION  IS
OTHERWISE PRIVILEGED FROM DISCLOSURE BY LAW.
  S  429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.  1.  ANY PERSON REQUIRED BY
THIS TITLE TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE WHO WILLFULLY FAILS
TO DO SO SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE,
A CLASS E FELONY FOR THE SECOND OFFENSE AND A CLASS  D  FELONY  FOR  THE
THIRD OFFENSE OR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE.
  2.    ANY  PERSON REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED
CHILD ABUSE WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FAILS TO DO SO SHALL BE  CIVILLY
LIABLE FOR THE DAMAGES PROXIMATELY CAUSED BY SUCH FAILURE.
  S  429-C.  IMMUNITY  FROM LIABILITY.   1. ANY PERSON WHO IN GOOD FAITH
MAKES A REPORT OF ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS  TITLE,

S. 824--A                           4

INCLUDING  THOSE WHO IN GOOD FAITH MAKE A REPORT TO THE WRONG RECIPIENT,
SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT
BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS.
  2. ANY PERSON WHO REASONABLY AND IN GOOD FAITH MAKES A REPORT OF ALLE-
GATIONS  OF  CHILD  ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE, SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY
FROM CIVIL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE  RESULT  BY  REASON  OF  SUCH
ACTIONS.
  S 429-D. REVIEW OF EXISTING RECORDS FOR ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS AN
ABUSED  CHILD; DISTRICT ATTORNEY; PENALTY. 1. WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, ALL MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY  SHALL:    (A)
REVIEW  ALL  INSTITUTIONAL  RECORDS  WITHIN  THEIR CONTROL AND ANY OTHER
INFORMATION THEY HAVE OBTAINED REGARDING ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS  AN
ABUSED  CHILD  BY A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY WITHIN FIFTY YEARS PRIOR TO THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION; (B) REVIEW WHETHER THEY ARE AWARE OF ANY
OTHER ALLEGATIONS THAT A CHILD IS AN ABUSED CHILD ALLEGED TO  HAVE  BEEN
ABUSED  BY A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY WHO REMAINS ACTIVELY IN THE SERVICE OF
A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE ON WHICH SUCH ALLEGATION
WAS MADE; AND WHERE SUCH INFORMATION OR RECORDS RAISE  REASONABLE  CAUSE
TO  SUSPECT  THAT  A CHILD IS AN ABUSED CHILD, REPORT SUCH ALLEGATION TO
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.   THIS SECTION SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  INFORMATION
OBTAINED  THROUGH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH CLERGY AND PRIVILEGED
UNDER LAW.
  2. ANY INDIVIDUAL, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF
SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED  TWENTY-NINE-A  OF  THIS  TITLE, REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION TO REVIEW EXISTING RECORDS AND INFORMATION  AND  REPORT  ALLEGA-
TIONS  CONTAINED THEREIN WHO WILLFULLY FAILS TO DO SO SHALL BE GUILTY OF
A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE, A CLASS E  FELONY  FOR  THE
SECOND  OFFENSE AND A CLASS D FELONY FOR THE THIRD OFFENSE OR ANY SUBSE-
QUENT OFFENSE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become  a law.

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