SB 530 - This act modifies provisions relating to child abuse investigations. Within forty-five days of a oral report of abuse or neglect, rather than thirty days, the local office of the children's division must update the information system with certain information about the report.
The children's division must complete all investigations of child abuse within forty-five days. If not, the division shall promptly notify all parties of the proposed extension. Any party may object to the extension by filing an objection with the Attorney General's office of the child advocate, which shall rule on the objection within 10 business days and grant the extension if there is good cause. If the extension is granted, the division must set a new deadline for completion, which can only be extended further by the division notifying all parties. If the extension is not granted, the investigation shall be deemed completed ten working days after the date of denial. No objection to an extension shall be allowed if the division is waiting to receive a medical or law enforcement report or information from another state, except on the basis that the division's grounds for extension are false.
After an investigation, the division shall make a preliminary determination by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged perpetrator has committed child abuse. No determination of child abuse shall be entered in the central until the alleged perpetrator fails to request review by the child abuse and neglect review board within thirty days or a determination is made by such board that the alleged perpetrator has committed abuse. The alleged perpetrator has thirty days to seek reversal of the division's determination, rather than sixty days. In cases where criminal charges are pending, the request for review shall be made within thirty days of the indictment being returned, dismissal of the charges, the information being filed, or the division's release of the report.
Currently, investigative reports are not released to the alleged perpetrator with pending criminal charges until an indictment is returned or an information is filed. Under this act, such report shall also be released after one year has passed since the division notified the prosecuting attorney and the alleged perpetrator puts his or her intent to seek further review in writing. However, the prosecuting attorney may petition the court to extend the one year period for good cause shown.
This act is contained in CCS/HCS/SB 262 (2009).