Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - California

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Failure to Report

Citation: Penal Code §§ 11166(c); 11166.01

Any mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in a county jail or by a fine of $1,000, or both. If a mandated reporter intentionally conceals his or her failure to report an incident known by the mandated reporter to be abuse or severe neglect, the failure to report is a continuing offense until an agency specified in § 11165.9 discovers the offense.

Any supervisor or administrator who violates § 11166(1) (that prohibits impeding others from making a report), shall be punished by not more than 6 months in a county jail or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

Any mandated reporter who willfully fails to report abuse or neglect, or any person who impedes or inhibits a report of abuse or neglect, where that abuse or neglect results in death or great bodily injury, shall be punished by not more than 1 year in a county jail or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

False Reporting

Citation: Penal Code § 11172(a)

Any person reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report, unless 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.