BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2380
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 13, 2010
          Chief Counsel:      Gregory Pagan

                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                  AB 2380 (Lowenthal) - As Amended:  March 24, 2010

           SUMMARY  :   Clarifies that a "reasonable suspicion" that a child  
          has been a victim of child abuse or neglect does not require  
          certainty that a child has been abused, and may be based on  
          credible information from other individuals for the purpose of  
          making a report under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting ACT  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires that any mandated reporter who has knowledge of, or  
            observes, a child in his or her professional capacity or  
            within the scope of his or her employment whom he or she  
            knows, or reasonably suspects, has been the victim of child  
            abuse shall report that incident immediately to a specified  
            child protection agency by telephone, and requires a written  
            report be sent within 36 hours.  [Penal Code Section  

          2)Requires that reports of suspected child abuse or neglect  
            shall be made by a mandated reporter to any police or  
            sheriff's department, a county probation department if  
            designated by the county to receive mandated reports, or the  
            county welfare department.  (Penal Code Section 11165.9.)

          3)Defines a "mandated reporter" as specific child-care  
            custodians, health practitioners, law enforcement officers,  
            and other medical and professional persons.  (Penal Code  
            Section 11165.7.)

          4)Provides that the reporting duties under CANRA are individual,  
            no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the  
            reporting duties, and no person making a report shall be  
            subject to any sanctions for making the report.  [Penal Code  
            Section 11166(g)(1).]


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          5)Provides that any mandated reporter who fails to report an  
            instance of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or  
            neglect as required is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by  
            up to six months in the county jail; by a fine of $1,000; or  
            by both imprisonment and fine.  [Penal Code Section 11166(b).]  

          6)Requires specified reporting agencies to forward to the  
            Department of Justice (DOJ) a report of every case of  
            suspected child abuse or neglect which is determined not to be  
            unfounded; and if a previously filed report proves to be  
            unfounded, the DOJ shall be notified in writing and shall not  
            retain that report.  [Penal Code Section 11169(a).]

          7)Requires at the time a reporting agency forwards a report of  
            suspected child abuse or neglect to the DOJ, the agency notify  
            the known or suspected child abuser that he or she has been  
            reported to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).  [Penal Code  
            Section 11165(b).]

          8)Requires the DOJ to maintain an index of all reports of child  
            abuse and neglect submitted by the specified reporting  
            agencies.  The index shall be continually updated and shall  
            not contain any reports determined to be unfounded.  [Penal  
            Code Section 11170(a)(1).]

          9)States that the DOJ shall act only as a repository of the  
            suspected child abuse or neglect reports maintained in CACI,  
            and that the reporting agencies are responsible for the  
            accuracy, completeness, and retention of reports.  [Penal Code  
            Section 11170(a)(2).]

          10)Requires that information from an inconclusive or  
            unsubstantiated suspected child abuse or neglect report shall  
            be deleted from CACI after 10 years if no subsequent report  
            concerning the suspected child abuser is received within the  
            10-year period.  [Penal Code Section 11170(a)(3).]

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "The Los Angeles City  
          Attorney's office has discovered through their work with the  
          Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect that many  
          mandated reporters are unclear on constitutes 'reasonable  
          suspicion'.  Many have reported that they feel they have to wait  


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          until they have concrete evidence before they can notify the  

          "This lack of clarity has resulted in many mandated reporters  
          failing to properly report their reasonable suspicions of child  
          abuse or neglect.  This is particularly evident among medical  
          professionals, where reports are delayed by hours or even days  
          while a specific medical diagnosis is determined, resulting in  
          destruction of crime scene evidence and greater difficult for  
          law enforcement in locating perpetrators.

          "This bill clarifies that 'reasonable suspicion' does not  
          require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred and  
          that it may be based on any information considered credible by  
          the reporter, including statements by others."


          Los Angeles City Attorney


          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)