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1988 Minnesota Session Laws

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1988 

                        CHAPTER 662-S.F.No. 1871 
           An act relating to family law; prohibiting certain 
          false allegations of child abuse; regulating child 
          custody hearings; prescribing the penalty of murder in 
          the first degree for the new crime of causing the 
          death of a child while committing child abuse; 
          requiring members of the clergy to report maltreatment 
          of children; providing penalties; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1986, sections 518.17, by adding a 
          subdivision; 609.185; Minnesota Statutes 1987 
          Supplement, section 626.556, subdivision 3; proposing 
          coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 518.17, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [EVIDENCE OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD 
ABUSE.] The court shall consider evidence of a violation of 
section 3 in determining the best interests of the child. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 609.185, is 
amended to read: 
    609.185 [MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE.] 
    Whoever does any of the following is guilty of murder in 
the first degree and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life:
    (1) Causes the death of a human being with premeditation 
and with intent to effect the death of the person or of another; 
    (2) Causes the death of a human being while committing or 
attempting to commit criminal sexual conduct in the first or 
second degree with force or violence, either upon or affecting 
the person or another;  
    (3) Causes the death of a human being with intent to effect 
the death of the person or another, while committing or 
attempting to commit burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, 
arson in the first or second degree, tampering with a witness in 
the first degree, or escape from custody; or 
    (4) Causes the death of a peace officer or a guard employed 
at a Minnesota state correctional facility, with intent to 
effect the death of that person or another, while the peace 
officer or guard is engaged in the performance of official 
duties; or 
    (5) Causes the death of a minor under circumstances other 
than those described in clause (1) or (2) while committing or 
attempting to commit child abuse, when the perpetrator has 
engaged in a past pattern of child abuse upon the child and the 
death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme 
indifference to human life. 
    For purposes of clause (5), "child abuse" means an act 
committed against a minor victim that constitutes a violation of 
section 609.221, 609.222, 609.223, 609.224, 609.342, 609.343, 
609.344, 609.345, 609.377, or 609.378. 
    Sec. 3.  [609.507] [FALSELY REPORTING CHILD ABUSE.] 
     A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who: 
    (1) informs another person that a person has committed 
sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect of a child, as defined 
in section 626.556, subdivision 2; 
    (2) knows that the allegation is false or is without reason 
to believe that the alleged abuser committed the abuse or 
neglect; and 
    (3) has the intent that the information influence a child 
custody hearing. 
     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1987 Supplement, section 
626.556, subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [PERSONS MANDATED TO REPORT.] (a) A professional 
or the professional's delegate who is engaged in the practice of 
the healing arts, social services, hospital administration, 
psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, education, 
or law enforcement person who knows or has reason to believe a 
child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused, or 
has been neglected or physically or sexually abused within the 
preceding three years, shall immediately report the information 
to the local welfare agency, police department, or the county 
sheriff if the person is:  
    (1) a professional or professional's delegate who is 
engaged in the practice of the healing arts, social services, 
hospital administration, psychological or psychiatric treatment, 
child care, education, or law enforcement; or 
    (2) employed as a member of the clergy and received the 
information while engaged in ministerial duties, provided that a 
member of the clergy is not required by this subdivision to 
report information that is otherwise privileged under section 
595.02, subdivision 1, paragraph (c).  
    The police department or the county sheriff, upon receiving 
a report, shall immediately notify the local welfare agency 
orally and in writing.  The local welfare agency, upon receiving 
a report, shall immediately notify the local police department 
or the county sheriff orally and in writing.  The county sheriff 
and the head of every local welfare agency and police department 
shall each designate a person within their agency, department, 
or office who is responsible for ensuring that the notification 
duties of this paragraph and paragraph (b) are carried out.  
Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require more 
than one report from any institution, facility, school, or 
agency. 
    (b) Any person may voluntarily report to the local welfare 
agency, police department, or the county sheriff if the person 
knows, has reason to believe, or suspects a child is being or 
has been neglected or subjected to physical or sexual abuse.  
The police department or the county sheriff, upon receiving a 
report, shall immediately notify the local welfare agency orally 
and in writing.  The local welfare agency, upon receiving a 
report, shall immediately notify the local police department or 
the county sheriff orally and in writing. 
    (c) A person mandated to report physical or sexual child 
abuse or neglect occurring within a licensed facility shall 
report the information to the agency responsible for licensing 
the facility.  A health or corrections agency receiving a report 
may request the local welfare agency to provide assistance 
pursuant to subdivisions 10, 10a, and 10b. 
    (d) Any person mandated to report shall, upon request to 
the local welfare agency, receive a summary of the disposition 
of any report made by that reporter, unless release would be 
detrimental to the best interests of the child.  Any person who 
is not mandated to report shall, upon request to the local 
welfare agency, receive a concise summary of the disposition of 
any report made by that reporter, unless release would be 
detrimental to the best interests of the child. 
    (e) For purposes of this subdivision, "immediately" means 
as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours. 
    Approved April 26, 1988

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