Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Minnesota

State and Statute: Minnesota, Stats. §§ 260E et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: “Egregious harm, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, substantial child endangerment, threatened injury, mental injury, maltreatment of a child in a facility.” [260E.03(subd. 12)]

Mandatory Reporters: A person who knows or has reason to believe a child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused, or has been maltreated … or had been maltreated within the preceding three years, and who is (1) a professional who is engaged in the practice of the healing arts, social services, psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, education, 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.” [260E.06(subd. 1)]

How and Where to Report: To the local welfare agency, agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, police department, county sheriff, tribal social services agency, or tribal police department. [260E.06(subd. 1)(a)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately (“as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours”) [260E.03(subd. 9) and 260E.06(subd. 1)]

An oral report must be followed by a written report within 72 hours (exclusive of weekends and holidays). [260E.09(a)]

Clergy Privilege: “A member of the clergy is not required …to report information that is otherwise privileged under section 595.02 subd. 1(c)” [260E.06 (subd. 1(2))]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Misdemeanor for failing to report a suspected case that occurred within the preceding three years. Gross misdemeanor for failing to report two or more suspected cases within the preceding 10 years involving the same perpetrator who is not related to the victims. A parent, guardian, or caretaker who knows or reasonably should know that the child’s health is in serious danger . . . is guilty of a gross misdemeanor . . . if the child dies the person is then guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $4,ooo, or both. [260E.08(a)(b(c)]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Minnesota have recognized civil liability.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “The following persons are immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result from their actions, if they are acting in good faith: any person making a voluntary or mandated report.” [260E.34(a)(1)]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: “The local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report shall accept a report made under section 260E.06 notwithstanding refusal by a reporter to provide the reporter’s name or address as long as the report is otherwise sufficient under this paragraph.” [260E.09]

Additional Information for Minnesota:

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

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