Immunity for Persons Who Report Child Abuse and Neglect - California

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Immunity for Making Reports

Citation: Penal Code § 11172

No mandated reporter shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by this article, and this immunity shall apply even if the mandated reporter acquired the knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect outside of their professional capacity or outside the scope of their employment. Any other person reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability because of any report authorized by this article.

No person required to make a report pursuant to this article, nor any person taking photographs at their direction, shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking photographs of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect; for causing photographs to be taken of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect, without parental consent; or for disseminating the photographs, images, or material with the reports required by this article. However, this section shall not be construed to grant immunity from this liability with respect to any other use of the photographs.

Additional Provisions of Immunity

Citation: Penal Code § 11172

Any person who, pursuant to a request from a government agency investigating a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, provides the requesting agency with access to the victim of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability because of providing that access.

Any commercial computer technician and any employer of any commercial computer technician who, pursuant to a warrant from a law enforcement agency investigating a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, provides the law enforcement agency with a computer or computer component that contains possible evidence of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of providing that computer or computer component to the law enforcement agency.

Any person who, in good faith, provides information or assistance, including medical evaluations or consultations, to an agency specified in § 11165.9, in connection with a report, investigation, or legal intervention pursuant to a good faith report of child abuse or neglect under this article shall not incur civil or criminal liability from providing that information or assistance.

Limitations to Immunity

Citation: Penal Code § 11172

Any person making a report of child abuse or neglect shall not be given immunity from civil or criminal liability if it can be proven that a false report was made, and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report. Any person who makes a report of child abuse or neglect known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.

This section does not grant immunity from liability for an individual who is suspected of committing abuse or neglect of the child who is the subject of the report.