Child Abuse Reporting Laws for North Dakota

State and Statute: North Dakota, Code §§ 50-25.1-01 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Sexual abuse committed by anyone, or physical or mental abuse by a person responsible for the child’s welfare (includes the child’s parent, guardian, or foster parent; employee of a school or child care facility; or a person responsible for the child’s welfare in a residential setting). [50-25.1-02(3) and 14-09-22]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes any “member of the clergy,” “religious practitioner of the healing arts,” schoolteacher or administrator, or any other child care worker. A person who has knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected, based on images of sexual conduct by a child discovered on a workplace computer, shall report the circumstances to the department. (50-25.1-03(1)(3))

How and Where to Report: Oral or written report to the Department of Human Services. Oral report must be followed by written report (if requested) within 48 hours. [50-25.1-03(2) and 50-25.1-04(1)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [50-25.1-04(1)]

Clergy Privilege: “A member of the clergy, however, is not required to report such circumstances if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received in the capacity of spiritual adviser.” [50-25.1-03(1)]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Class B misdemeanor. [50-25.1-13]

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

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person … participating in good faith in the making of a report … is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, except for [civil] and criminal liability as provided by section 50-25.1-13 (making a false report or providing false information leading to a report), that otherwise might result from reporting … For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any person required to report cases of child abuse, neglect, or death resulting from abuse or neglect must be presumed.” [50-25.1-09]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Reporter’s identity must be protected with statutory provisions involving information provided for investigations. Reporter’s identity must be kept confidential when alleged perpetrator and victim’s parents seek statutory access to report. [50-25.1-11(d)(i)]

Additional Information for North Dakota:

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

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