language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1993 CHAPTER 296-H.F.No. 251 An act relating to child abuse reporting; expanding the definition of "neglect" to include failure to provide a child with necessary education; creating a presumption for CHIPS purposes that the absence from school of a child under 12 years old is due to educational neglect; amending Minnesota Statutes 1992, sections 260.155, subdivision 1, and by adding a subdivision; and 626.556, subdivision 2. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 260.155, subdivision 1, is amended to read: Subdivision 1. [GENERAL.] Except for hearings arising under section 260.261, hearings on any matter shall be without a jury and may be conducted in an informal manner. The rules of evidence promulgated pursuant to section 480.0591 and the law of evidence shall apply in adjudicatory proceedings involving a child alleged to be delinquent,
in need of protection or services under section 260.015, subdivision 2a, clause (11) or (12),or a juvenile petty offender, and hearings conducted pursuant to section 260.125 except to the extent that the rules themselves provide that they do not apply. In all adjudicatory proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services, the court shall admit only evidence that would be admissible in a civil trial. To be proved at trial, allegations of a petition alleging a child to be in need of protection or services must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. Except for proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services and petitions for the termination of parental rights, hearings may be continued or adjourned from time to time. In proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services and petitions for the termination of parental rights, hearings may not be continued or adjourned for more than one week unless the court makes specific findings that the continuance or adjournment is in the best interests of the child. If a hearing is held on a petition involving physical or sexual abuse of a child who is alleged to be in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, the court shall file the decision with the court administrator as soon as possible but no later than 15 days after the matter is submitted to the court. When a continuance or adjournment is ordered in any proceeding, the court may make any interim orders as it deems in the best interests of the minor in accordance with the provisions of sections 260.011 to 260.301. The court shall exclude the general public from these hearings and shall admit only those persons who, in the discretion of the court, have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court; except that, the court shall open the hearings to the public in delinquency proceedings where the child is alleged to have committed an offense or has been proven to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult and the child was at least 16 years of age at the time of the offense. In all delinquency cases a person named in the charging clause of the petition as a person directly damaged in person or property shall be entitled, upon request, to be notified by the court administrator in writing, at the named person's last known address, of (1) the date of the reference or adjudicatory hearings, and (2) the disposition of the case. Adoption hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of laws relating to adoptions. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 260.155, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 9. [PRESUMPTIONS REGARDING TRUANCY OR EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT.] A child's absence from school is presumed to be due to the parent's, guardian's, or custodian's failure to comply with compulsory instruction laws if the child is under 12 years old and the school has made appropriate efforts to resolve the child's attendance problems; this presumption may be rebutted based on a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the child is habitually truant. A child's absence from school without lawful excuse, when the child is 12 years old or older, is presumed to be due to the child's intent to be absent from school; this presumption may be rebutted based on a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the child's absence is due to the failure of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to comply with compulsory instruction laws, sections 120.101 and 120.102. Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 626.556, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [DEFINITIONS.] As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings given them unless the specific content indicates otherwise: (a) "Sexual abuse" means the subjection of a child by a person responsible for the child's care, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 10, to any act which constitutes a violation of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, or 609.345. Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 617.246. Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse. (b) "Person responsible for the child's care" means (1) an individual functioning within the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a parent, guardian, or other person having similar care responsibilities, or (2) an individual functioning outside the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a teacher, school administrator, or other lawful custodian of a child having either full-time or short-term care responsibilities including, but not limited to, day care, babysitting whether paid or unpaid, counseling, teaching, and coaching. (c) "Neglect" means failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical care when reasonably able to do so, orfailure to protect a child from conditions or actions which imminently and seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so, or failure to take steps to ensure that a child is educated in accordance with state law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a child is neglected solely because the child's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's care in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care of the child in lieu of medical care; except that there is a duty to report if a lack of medical care may cause imminent and serious danger to the child's health. This section does not impose upon persons, not otherwise legally responsible for providing a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical care, a duty to provide that care. Neglect includes prenatal exposure to a controlled substance, as defined in section 253B.02, subdivision 2, used by the mother for a nonmedical purpose, as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery or the child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays during the child's first year of life that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance. Neglect also means "medical neglect" as defined in section 260.015, subdivision 2a, clause (5). (d) "Physical abuse" means any physical or mental injury, or threatened injury, inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental means, or any physical or mental injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's history of injuries, or any aversive and deprivation procedures that have not been authorized under section 245.825. (e) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare agency, police department, or county sheriff pursuant to this section. (f) "Facility" means a day care facility, residential facility, agency, hospital, sanitarium, or other facility or institution required to be licensed pursuant to sections 144.50 to 144.58, 241.021, or 245A.01 to 245A.16. (g) "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in section 245A.02. (h) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services. (i) "Assessment" includes authority to interview the child, the person or persons responsible for the child's care, the alleged perpetrator, and any other person with knowledge of the abuse or neglect for the purpose of gathering the facts, assessing the risk to the child, and formulating a plan. (j) "Practice of social services," for the purposes of subdivision 3, includes but is not limited to employee assistance counseling and the provision of guardian ad litem services. (k) "Mental injury" means an injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by an observable or substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to the child's culture. (l) "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury. Presented to the governor May 17, 1993 Signed by the governor May 19, 1993, 3:42 p.m.