BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 2380|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 2380
          Author:   Bonnie Lowenthal (D), et al
          Amended:  6/16/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/15/10
          AYES:  Leno, Cogdill, Cedillo, Hancock, Huff, Steinberg,  
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-0, 4/22/10 (Consent) - See last page  
            for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Child abuse:  mandated reporting

           SOURCE  :     City Attorney of Los Angeles 
           DIGEST  :    This bill provides 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, as specified.

           ANALYSIS  :    Current law contains the Child Abuse and  
          Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), which generally is intended  
          to protect children from abuse and neglect.  (Section 11164  
          et seq. of the Penal Code [PEN])

          Under current law the term "child abuse or neglect" for the  
          purposes of CANRA "includes physical injury or death  


                                                               AB 2380

          inflicted by other than accidental means upon a child by  
          another person, sexual abuse ?, neglect ?, the willful  
          harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the  
          person or health of a child, ? and unlawful corporal  
          punishment or injury ?  'Child abuse or neglect' does not  
          include a mutual affray between minors.  'Child abuse or  
          neglect' does not include an injury caused by reasonable  
          and necessary force used by a peace officer acting within  
          the course and scope of his or her employment as a peace  
          officer."  (PEN Section 11165.6)

          Current law requires a mandated reporter to make a report  
          "whenever the mandated reporter, in his or her professional  
          capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has  
          knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter  
          knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child  
          abuse or neglect. ?"  (PEN Section 11166)

          Current law provides that, "(f)or the purposes of this  
          article, "reasonable suspicion" means that it is  
          objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a  
          suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable  
          person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on  
          his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse  
          or neglect.  For the purpose of this article, the pregnancy  
          of a minor does not, in and of itself, constitute a basis  
          for a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse."  (PEN Section  

          This bill adds the following language to the existing  
          definition of "reasonable suspicion" for purposes of CANRA:  

            'Reasonable suspicion' does not require certainty that  
            child abuse or neglect has occurred nor does it require a  
            specific medical indication of child abuse or neglect;  
            any 'reasonable suspicion' is sufficient.
           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/16/10)

          City Attorney of Los Angeles (source)


                                                               AB 2380

          Board of Behavioral Sciences
          California District Attorneys Association
          Crime Victims Action Alliance 
          State Public Affairs Committee, Junior Leagues of  

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author states:

            "Across all professions who deal with the abuse of  
            children there appears one constant: there is great  
            confusion regarding what constitutes 'reasonable  
            suspicion' for purposes of triggering the legal mandated  
            reporting obligation. 

            "It is clear that while the intent of the law is to  
            insure that all reasonable suspicions of child abuse and  
            neglect are reported, the lack of a consistent  
            understanding of what this phrase means has obviously  
            inhibited many professionals from reporting abuse in a  
            proper and timely fashion.  This is particularly evident  
            among medical professionals who we work with where  
            reports are often delayed by hours, if not days, while a  
            specific medical diagnosis is determined. 

            "The delay in reporting can result in the destruction of  
            crime scene evidence and may ultimately inhibit efforts  
            of law enforcement personnel to identify perpetrators and  
            to hold them accountable for their physical and sexual  
            abuse of children. Not to mention the obvious fear that  
            continuing and prolonged abuse of children will go  
            undetected and unreported.

            "This bill amends Penal Code Section 11166(a)(1) to  
            clarify the definition of 'reasonable suspicion' as the  
            trigger for the mandating reporting of child abuse by  
            making it clear that no actual knowledge is required."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  


                                                               AB 2380

            DeVore, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong,  
            Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick,  
            Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill,  
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal,  
            Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra  
            Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran,  
            Villines, Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Blumenfield, Caballero, Huber, Huffman,  
            Norby, Vacancy

          RJG:mw  6/16/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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