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1993 Minnesota Session Laws

Key: (1) 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, or 
failure 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.

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