MN Legislature

Accessibility menu

Session laws use visual text formatting such as stricken text to denote deleted language, and underlined text to denote new language. For users of the jaws screenreader it is recommended to configure jaws to use the proofreading scheme which will alter the pitch of the reading voice when reading stricken and underlined text. Instructions for configuring your jaws reader are provided by following this link.
If you can not or do not wish to configure your screen reader, deleted language will begin with the phrase "deleted text begin" and be followed by the phrase "deleted text end", new language will begin with the phrase "new text begin" and be followed by "new text end". Skip to text of Chapter 136.

Menu

Revisor of Statutes Menu

Authenticate

Pdf

2001 Minnesota Session Laws

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 136-S.F.No. 1583 
                  An act relating to children; amending the definition 
                  of child neglect; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, 
                  section 626.556, subdivision 2.  
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, 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, by a person who has a 
        significant relationship to the child, as defined in section 
        609.341, 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 (criminal sexual conduct in the 
        first degree), 609.343 (criminal sexual conduct in the second 
        degree), 609.344 (criminal sexual conduct in the third degree), 
        609.345 (criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree), or 
        609.3451 (criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree).  Sexual 
        abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which 
        constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under 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: 
           (1) failure by a person responsible for a child's care to 
        supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, health, 
        medical, or other care required for the child's physical or 
        mental health when reasonably able to do so; 
           (2) failure to protect a child from conditions or actions 
        which imminently and that seriously endanger the child's 
        physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so; 
           (3) failure to provide for necessary supervision or child 
        care arrangements appropriate for a child after considering 
        factors as the child's age, mental ability, physical condition, 
        length of absence, or environment, when the child is unable to 
        care for the child's own basic needs or safety, or the basic 
        needs or safety of another child in their care; 
           (4) failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined 
        in sections 120A.22 and 260C.163, subdivision 11; 
           (5) 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 a parent, guardian, or 
        caretaker, or a person mandated to report pursuant to 
        subdivision 3, has a duty to report if a lack of medical care 
        may cause 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; 
           (6) 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; 
           (7) "medical neglect" as defined in section 260C.007, 
        subdivision 4, clause (5); 
           (8) chronic and severe use of alcohol or a controlled 
        substance by a parent or person responsible for the care of the 
        child that adversely affects the child's basic needs and safety; 
        or 
           (9) emotional harm from a pattern of behavior which 
        contributes to impaired emotional functioning of the child which 
        may be demonstrated by a substantial and observable effect in 
        the child's behavior, emotional response, or cognition that is 
        not within the normal range for the child's age and stage of 
        development, with due regard to the child's culture. 
           (d) "Physical abuse" means any physical injury, 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.  Abuse does not include reasonable and moderate 
        physical discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal 
        guardian which does not result in an injury.  Actions which are 
        not reasonable and moderate include, but are not limited to, any 
        of the following that are done in anger or without regard to the 
        safety of the child: 
           (1) throwing, kicking, burning, biting, or cutting a child; 
           (2) striking a child with a closed fist; 
           (3) shaking a child under age three; 
           (4) striking or other actions which result in any 
        nonaccidental injury to a child under 18 months of age; 
           (5) unreasonable interference with a child's breathing; 
           (6) threatening a child with a weapon, as defined in 
        section 609.02, subdivision 6; 
           (7) striking a child under age one on the face or head; 
           (8) purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, or dangerous, 
        harmful, or controlled substances which were not prescribed for 
        the child by a practitioner, in order to control or punish the 
        child; or other substances that substantially affect the child's 
        behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that results in 
        sickness or internal injury, or subjects the child to medical 
        procedures that would be unnecessary if the child were not 
        exposed to the substances; or 
           (9) unreasonable physical confinement or restraint not 
        permitted under section 609.379, including but not limited to 
        tying, caging, or chaining. 
           (e) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare 
        agency, police department, or county sheriff pursuant to this 
        section. 
           (f) "Facility" means a licensed or unlicensed day care 
        facility, residential facility, agency, hospital, sanitarium, or 
        other facility or institution required to be licensed under 
        sections 144.50 to 144.58, 241.021, or 245A.01 to 245A.16, or 
        chapter 245B; or a school as defined in sections 120A.05, 
        subdivisions 9, 11, and 13; and 124D.10; or a nonlicensed 
        personal care provider organization as defined in sections 
        256B.04, subdivision 16, and 256B.0625, subdivision 19a. 
           (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 and 
        parenting time expeditor 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. 
           (m) Persons who conduct assessments or investigations under 
        this section shall take into account accepted child-rearing 
        practices of the culture in which a child participates, which 
        are not injurious to the child's health, welfare, and safety. 
           [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective the day 
        following final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 17, 2001 
           Signed by the governor May 21, 2001, 11:01 a.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569