Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Maine

State and Statute: Maine, Stats. Title 22 §§ 4011-A et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Known or reasonable cause to suspect physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect of a child. [4002 and 4011-A]

Mandatory Reporters: Clergy members, teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, youth camp administrators and counselors, and child care personnel. [4011-A(1)(A)]. Any person affiliated with a church or religious institution who serves in an administrative capacity or has otherwise assumed a position of trust or responsibility to the members of that church or religious institution, while acting in that capacity, regardless of whether the person receives compensation. [4011-A(1)(C)]

How and Where to Report: By telephone to the Department of Health and Welfare, followed (if requested) by a written report within 48 hours. [4012] When acting in professional capacity, to the local district attorney’s office. [4011-A(2)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately, plus written report within 48 hours if requested by the department. [4011-A(1)(2) and [4012]

Clergy Privilege: Clergy are mandatory reporters of child abuse “except for information received during confidential communications.” [4011-A(1)(27)]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Civil violation with a fine of not more than $500. [4009]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? “A person who knowingly violates a provision of this chapter commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $500 may be adjudged.” [4009]

No statute recognizes a victim’s right to pursue a civil lawsuit seeking damages against a mandatory reporter who fails to report. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Maine have recognize such a right.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “A person … participating in good faith in reporting … is immune from any criminal or civil liability for the act of reporting … Good faith does not include instances when a false report is made and the person knows the report is false. Nothing in this section may be construed to bar criminal or civil action regarding perjury.” [4014]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Statutory disclosure may not disclose reporter’s identity or describe reporter. [4008-A(3)(D)] Confidential records containing reporter’s identification subject to release only under certain specified conditions, some of which provide for protection of reporter’s identification. [4008(1) and 4008(2)]

Additional Information for Maine:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay