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SB-360 Mandated reporters: clergy.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/02/2019 09:00 PM
SB360:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 02, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 360


Introduced by Senator Hill

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Sections 11165.7 and 11166 of the Penal Code, relating to mandated reporters.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 360, as amended, Hill. Mandated reporters: clergy.
Existing law, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, makes certain persons, including clergy, mandated reporters. Under existing law, clergy are required to report whenever the clergy, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their 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, except when the clergy acquires the knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential communication. Failure by a mandated reporter to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor.
This bill would further define a penitential communication for purposes of the exception. The bill would also exempt from the exemption any penitential communication made between a clergy member and another person employed at the same facility or location as that clergy member, or between a clergy member and another clergy member. By redefining an exemption to a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

11165.7.
 (a) As used in this article, “mandated reporter” is defined as any of the following:
(1) A teacher.
(2) An instructional aide.
(3) A teacher’s aide or teacher’s assistant employed by a public or private school.
(4) A classified employee of a public school.
(5) An administrative officer or supervisor of child welfare and attendance, or a certificated pupil personnel employee of a public or private school.
(6) An administrator of a public or private day camp.
(7) An administrator or employee of a public or private youth center, youth recreation program, or youth organization.
(8) An administrator, board member, or employee of a public or private organization whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children, including a foster family agency.
(9) An employee of a county office of education or the State Department of Education whose duties bring the employee into contact with children on a regular basis.
(10) A licensee, an administrator, or an employee ofc or private school.
(18) A district attorney investigator, inspector, or local child support agency caseworker, unless the investigator, inspector, or caseworker is working with an attorney appointed pursuant to Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to represent a minor.
(19) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, who is not otherwise described in this section.
(20) A firefighter, except for volunteer firefighters.
(21) A physician and surgeon, psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist, resident, intern, podiatrist, chiropractor, licensed nurse, dental hygienist, optometrist, marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, professional clinical counselor, or any other person who is currently licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code.
(22) An emergency medical technician I or II, paramedic, or other person certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.
(23) A psychological assistant registered pursuant to Section 2913 of the Business and Professions Code.
(24) A marriage and family therapist trainee, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 4980.03 of the Business and Professions Code.
(25) An unlicensed associate marriage and family therapist registered under Section 4980.44 of the Business and Professions Code.
(26) A state or county public health employee who treats a minor for venereal disease or any other condition.
(27) A coroner.
(28) A medical examiner or other person who performs autopsies.
(29) A commercial film and photographic print or image processor as specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11166. As used in this article, “commercial film and photographic print or image processor” means a person who develops exposed photographic film into negatives, slides, or prints, or who makes prints from negatives or slides, or who prepares, publishes, produces, develops, duplicates, or prints any representation of information, data, or an image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disk, data storage medium, CD-ROM, computer-generated equipment, or computer-generated image, for compensation. The term includes any employee of that person; it does not include a person who develops film or makes prints or images for a public agency.
(30) A child visitation monitor. As used in this article, “child visitation monitor” means a person who, for financial compensation, acts as a monitor of a visit between a child and another person when the monitoring of that visit has been ordered by a court of law.
(31) An animal control officer or humane society officer. For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(A) “Animal control officer” means a person employed by a city, county, or city and county for the purpose of enforcing animal control laws or regulations.
(B) “Humane society officer” means a person appointed or employed by a public or private entity as a humane officer who is qualified pursuant to Section 14502 or 14503 of the Corporations Code.
(32) A clergy member, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (d) of Section 11166. As used in this article, “clergy member” means a priest, minister, rabbi, religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a church, temple, or recognized denomination or organization.
(33) Any custodian of records of a clergy member.
(34) An employee of any police department, county sheriff’s department, county probation department, or county welfare department.
(35) An employee or volunteer of a Court Appointed Special Advocate program, as defined in Rule 5.655 of the California Rules of Court.
(36) A custodial officer, as defined in Section 831.5.
(37) A person providing services to a minor child under Section 12300 or 12300.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(38) An alcohol and drug counselor. As used in this article, an “alcohol and drug counselor” is a person providing counseling, therapy, or other clinical services for a state licensed or certified drug, alcohol, or drug and alcohol treatment program. However, alcohol or drug abuse, or both alcohol and drug abuse, is not, in and of itself, a sufficient basis for reporting child abuse or neglect.
(39) A clinical counselor trainee, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 4999.12 of the Business and Professions Code.
(40) An associate professional clinical counselor registered under Section 4999.42 of the Business and Professions Code.
(41) An employee or administrator of a public or private postsecondary educational institution, whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, or who supervises those whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, as to child abuse or neglect occurring on that institution’s premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted by, the institution. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as altering the lawyer-client privilege as set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 950) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code.
(42) An athletic coach, athletic administrator, or athletic director employed by any public or private school that provides any combination of instruction for kindergarten, or grades 1 to 12, inclusive.
(43) (A) A commercial computer technician as specified in subdivision (d) (e) of Section 11166. As used in this article, “commercial computer technician” means a person who works for a company that is in the business of repairing, installing, or otherwise servicing a computer or computer component, including, but not limited to, a computer part, device, memory storage or recording mechanism, auxiliary storage recording or memory capacity, or any other material relating to the operation and maintenance of a computer or computer network system, for a fee. An employer who provides an electronic communications service or a remote computing service to the public shall be deemed to comply with this article if that employer complies with Section 2258A of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(B) An employer of a commercial computer technician may implement internal procedures for facilitating reporting consistent with this article. These procedures may direct employees who are mandated reporters under this paragraph to report materials described in subdivision (d) (e) of Section 11166 to an employee who is designated by the employer to receive the reports. An employee who is designated to receive reports under this subparagraph shall be a commercial computer technician for purposes of this article. A commercial computer technician who makes a report to the designated employee pursuant to this subparagraph shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of this article and shall be subject to the protections afforded to mandated reporters, including, but not limited to, those protections afforded by Section 11172.
(44) Any athletic coach, including, but not limited to, an assistant coach or a graduate assistant involved in coaching, at public or private postsecondary educational institutions.
(45) An individual certified by a licensed foster family agency as a certified family home, as defined in Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code.
(46) An individual approved as a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (35) of subdivision (a), volunteers of public or private organizations whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of children are not mandated reporters but are encouraged to obtain training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect and are further encouraged to report known or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to an agency specified in Section 11165.9.
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), employers are strongly encouraged to provide their employees who are mandated reporters with training in the duties imposed by this article. This training shall include training in child abuse and neglect identification and training in child abuse and neglect reporting. Whether or not employers provide their employees with training in child abuse and neglect identification and reporting, the employers shall provide their employees who are mandated reporters with the statement required pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11166.5.
(d) Pursuant to Section 44691 of the Education Code, school districts, county offices of education, state special schools and diagnostic centers operated by the State Department of Education, and charter schools shall annually train their employees and persons working on their behalf specified in subdivision (a) in the duties of mandated reporters under the child abuse reporting laws. The training shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, training in child abuse and neglect identification and child abuse and neglect reporting.
(e) (1) On and after January 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 1596.8662 of the Health and Safety Code, a childcare licensee applicant shall take training in the duties of mandated reporters under the child abuse reporting laws as a condition of licensure, and a childcare administrator or an employee of a licensed child daycare facility shall take training in the duties of mandated reporters during the first 90 days when the childcare administrator or employee is employed by the facility.
(2) A person specified in paragraph (1) who becomes a licensee, administrator, or employee of a licensed child daycare facility shall take renewal mandated reporter training every two years following the date on which the person completed the initial mandated reporter training. The training shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, training in child abuse and neglect identification and child abuse and neglect reporting.
(f) Unless otherwise specifically provided, the absence of training shall not excuse a mandated reporter from the duties imposed by this article.
(g) Public and private organizations are encouraged to provide their volunteers whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of children with training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11166 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

11166.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (d) and in Section 11166.05, a mandated reporter shall make a report to an agency specified in Section 11165.9 whenever the mandated reporter, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their 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. The mandated reporter shall make an initial report by telephone to the agency immediately or as soon as is practicably possible, and shall prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident. The mandated reporter may include with the report any nonprivileged documentary evidence the mandated reporter possesses relating to the incident.
(1) For 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 their training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. “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. For purposes of this article, the pregnancy of a minor does not, in and of itself, constitute a basis for a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse.
(2) The agency shall be notified and a report shall be prepared and sent, faxed, or electronically transmitted even if the child has expired, regardless of whether or not the possible abuse was a factor contributing to the death, and even if suspected child abuse was discovered during an autopsy.
(3) A report made by a mandated reporter pursuant to this section shall be known as a mandated report.
(b) If, after reasonable efforts, a mandated reporter is unable to submit an initial report by telephone, the mandated reporter shall immediately or as soon as is practicably possible, by fax or electronic transmission, make a one-time automated written report on the form prescribed by the Department of Justice, and shall also be available to respond to a telephone followup call by the agency with which they filed the report. A mandated reporter who files a one-time automated written report because they were unable to submit an initial report by telephone is not required to submit a written followup report.
(1) The one-time automated written report form prescribed by the Department of Justice shall be clearly identifiable so that it is not mistaken for a standard written followup report. In addition, the automated one-time report shall contain a section that allows the mandated reporter to state the reason the initial telephone call was not able to be completed. The reason for the submission of the one-time automated written report in lieu of the procedure prescribed in subdivision (a) shall be captured in the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS). The department shall work with stakeholders to modify reporting forms and the CWS/CMS as is necessary to accommodate the changes enacted by these provisions.
(2) This subdivision shall not become operative until the CWS/CMS is updated to capture the information prescribed in this subdivision.
(3) This subdivision shall become inoperative three years after this subdivision becomes operative or on January 1, 2009, whichever occurs first.
(4) On the inoperative date of these provisions, a report shall be submitted to the counties and the Legislature by the State Department of Social Services that reflects the data collected from automated one-time reports indicating the reasons stated as to why the automated one-time report was filed in lieu of the initial telephone report.
(5) Nothing in this section shall supersede the requirement that a mandated reporter first attempt to make a report via telephone, or that agencies specified in Section 11165.9 accept reports from mandated reporters and other persons as required.
(c) A mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect as required by this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months confinement in a county jail or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both that imprisonment and fine. If a mandated reporter intentionally conceals their failure to report an incident known by the mandated reporter to be abuse or severe neglect under this section, the failure to report is a continuing offense until an agency specified in Section 11165.9 discovers the offense.
(d) (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (5), subdivision (a) does not apply to knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect obtained by a clergy member during a penitential communication. For the purposes of this subdivision, “penitential communication” means a communication that meets all of the following requirements:
(A) Is communicated orally.
(B) Is made privately to a clergy member.
(C) Is intended by the communicant to be an act of contrition or a matter of conscience.
(D) Is intended by both parties to be confidential at the time the communication was made.
(E) Is made in the manner and context that places the clergy member specifically and strictly under a level of confidentiality that is considered inviolate by church doctrine.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “penitential communication” does not include any of the following activities, unless such activities take place as part of a penitential communication as defined in paragraph (1):
(A) Providing spiritual direction.
(B) Religious counseling.
(C) Individual or group therapy.
(D) Activity related to human resources or personnel management.
(E) Clergy assignment work.
(F) Communications between clergy, laity, or other members of the faith that occur outside of a penitential context.
(G) Activity relating to church administration or management.
(3) A written communication shall not qualify as a penitential communication.
(4) This subdivision shall not be construed to modify or limit the duty of a clergy member to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect when a clergy member receives information about abuse or neglect from any source other than a penitential communication. A clergy member is required to report any information obtained outside of a penitential communication even if the clergy member has also received information relating to abuse or neglect regarding the same person or incident during a penitential communication.
(5) The exception described in paragraph (1) does not apply to either of the following:
(A) A penitential communication between a clergy member and another person that is employed at the same site or facility as the clergy member.
(B) A penitential communication between a clergy member and another clergy member.
(e) (1) A commercial film, photographic print, or image processor who has knowledge of or observes, within the scope of their professional capacity or employment, any film, photograph, videotape, negative, slide, or any representation of information, data, or an image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disk, data storage medium, CD-ROM, computer-generated equipment, or computer-generated image depicting a child under 16 years of age engaged in an act of sexual conduct, shall, immediately or as soon as practicably possible, telephonically report the instance of suspected abuse to the law enforcement agency located in the county in which the images are seen. Within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident, the reporter shall prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report of the incident with a copy of the image or material attached.
(2) A commercial computer technician who has knowledge of or observes, within the scope of their professional capacity or employment, any representation of information, data, or an image, including, but not limited to, any computer hardware, computer software, computer file, computer floppy disk, data storage medium, CD-ROM, computer-generated equipment, or computer-generated image that is retrievable in perceivable form and that is intentionally saved, transmitted, or organized on an electronic medium, depicting a child under 16 years of age engaged in an act of sexual conduct, shall immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, telephonically report the instance of suspected abuse to the law enforcement agency located in the county in which the images or materials are seen. As soon as practicably possible after receiving the information concerning the incident, the reporter shall prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report of the incident with a brief description of the images or materials.
(3) For purposes of this article, “commercial computer technician” includes an employee designated by an employer to receive reports pursuant to an established reporting process authorized by subparagraph (B) of paragraph (43) of subdivision (a) of Section 11165.7.
(4) As used in this subdivision, “electronic medium” includes, but is not limited to, a recording, CD-ROM, magnetic disk memory, magnetic tape memory, CD, DVD, thumbdrive, or any other computer hardware or media.
(5) As used in this subdivision, “sexual conduct” means any of the following:
(A) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals.
(B) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object.
(C) Masturbation for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.
(D) Sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.
(E) Exhibition of the genitals, pubic, or rectal areas of a person for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.
(f) Any mandated reporter who knows or reasonably suspects that the home or institution in which a child resides is unsuitable for the child because of abuse or neglect of the child shall bring the condition to the attention of the agency to which, and at the same time as, the mandated reporter makes a report of the abuse or neglect pursuant to subdivision (a).
(g) Any other person who has knowledge of or observes a child whom they know or reasonably suspect has been a victim of child abuse or neglect may report the known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect to an agency specified in Section 11165.9. For purposes of this section, “any other person” includes a mandated reporter who acts in their private capacity and not in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment.
(h) When two or more persons, who are required to report, jointly have knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, and when there is agreement among them, the telephone report may be made by a member of the team selected by mutual agreement and a single report may be made and signed by the selected member of the reporting team. Any member who has knowledge that the member designated to report has failed to do so shall thereafter make the report.
(i) (1) The reporting duties under this section are individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties, and no person making a report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report. However, internal procedures to facilitate reporting and apprise supervisors and administrators of reports may be established provided that they are not inconsistent with this article. An internal policy shall not direct an employee to allow their supervisor to file or process a mandated report under any circumstances.
(2) The internal procedures shall not require any employee required to make reports pursuant to this article to disclose their identity to the employer.
(3) Reporting the information regarding a case of possible child abuse or neglect to an employer, supervisor, school principal, school counselor, coworker, or other person shall not be a substitute for making a mandated report to an agency specified in Section 11165.9.
(j) (1) A county probation or welfare department shall immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or electronic transmission to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case, to the agency given the responsibility for investigation of cases under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and to the district attorney’s office every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, as defined in Section 11165.6, except acts or omissions coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2, or reports made pursuant to Section 11165.13 based on risk to a child that relates solely to the inability of the parent to provide the child with regular care due to the parent’s substance abuse, which shall be reported only to the county welfare or probation department. A county probation or welfare department also shall send, fax, or electronically transmit a written report thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident to any agency to which it makes a telephone report under this subdivision.
(2) A county probation or welfare department shall immediately, and in no case in more than 24 hours, report to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case after receiving information that a child or youth who is receiving child welfare services has been identified as the victim of commercial sexual exploitation, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 11165.1.
(3) When a child or youth who is receiving child welfare services and who is reasonably believed to be the victim of, or is at risk of being the victim of, commercial sexual exploitation, as defined in Section 11165.1, is missing or has been abducted, the county probation or welfare department shall immediately, or in no case later than 24 hours from receipt of the information, report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement authority for entry into the National Crime Information Center database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
(k) A law enforcement agency shall immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or electronic transmission to the agency given responsibility for investigation of cases under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and to the district attorney’s office every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect reported to it, except acts or omissions coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2, which shall be reported only to the county welfare or probation department. A law enforcement agency shall report to the county welfare or probation department every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect reported to it which is alleged to have occurred as a result of the action of a person responsible for the child’s welfare, or as the result of the failure of a person responsible for the child’s welfare to adequately protect the minor from abuse when the person responsible for the child’s welfare knew or reasonably should have known that the minor was in danger of abuse. A law enforcement agency also shall send, fax, or electronically transmit a written report thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident to any agency to which it makes a telephone report under this subdivision.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.