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California Penal Code Section 11166

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 11166

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 his
or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
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 his or her 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, he or she 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 he
or she filed the report. A mandated reporter who files a one-time
automated written report because he or she was 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 his or her 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) A clergy member who acquires knowledge or a reasonable
suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential
communication is not subject to subdivision (a). For the purposes of
this subdivision, "penitential communication" means a communication,
intended to be in confidence, including, but not limited to, a
sacramental confession, made to a clergy member who, in the course of
the discipline or practice of his or her church, denomination, or
organization, is authorized or accustomed to hear those
communications, and under the discipline, tenets, customs, or
practices of his or her church, denomination, or organization, has a
duty to keep those communications secret.
   (2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to modify or
limit a clergy member's duty to report known or suspected child abuse
or neglect when the clergy member is acting in some other capacity
that would otherwise make the clergy member a mandated reporter.
   (3) (A) On or before January 1, 2004, a clergy member or any
custodian of records for the clergy member may report to an agency
specified in Section 11165.9 that the clergy member or any custodian
of records for the clergy member, prior to January 1, 1997, in his or
her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
employment, other than during a penitential communication, acquired
knowledge or had a reasonable suspicion that a child had been the
victim of sexual abuse and that the clergy member or any custodian of
records for the clergy member did not previously report the abuse to
an agency specified in Section 11165.9. The provisions of Section
11172 shall apply to all reports made pursuant to this paragraph.
   (B) This paragraph shall apply even if the victim of the known or
suspected abuse has reached the age of majority by the time the
required report is made.
   (C) The local law enforcement agency shall have jurisdiction to
investigate any report of child abuse made pursuant to this paragraph
even if the report is made after the victim has reached the age of
majority.
   (e) (1) A commercial film, photographic print, or image processor
who has knowledge of or observes, within the scope of his or her
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 his or her 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 material 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, he or she 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
he or she knows or reasonably suspects 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 his or her private capacity and not in his or
her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
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.
   (2) The internal procedures shall not require any employee
required to make reports pursuant to this article to disclose his or
her 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) 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 which 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.
   (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.

Section: Previous  11165.7  11165.9  11165.11  11165.12  11165.13  11165.14  11165.15  11166  11166.01  11166.05  11166.1  11166.2  11166.3  11166.5  11167  Next

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Last modified: March 17, 2014