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Indiana Court Rules Couple Who Reported Suspected Child Abuse May Sue for Having Identity Exposed

Key point 4-08. Every state has a child abuse reporting law that requires persons designated as mandatory reporters to report known or reasonably suspected incidents of child abuse. Ministers are mandatory reporters in many states. Some states exempt ministers from reporting child abuse if they learned of the abuse in the course of a conversation protected by the clergy-penitent privilege. Ministers may face criminal and civil liability for failing to report child abuse.

An Indiana appeals court ruled that a husband and wife could sue the state for emotional suffering they experienced after the disclosure of the husband's identity as the person who reported five neighbors on his church bus route to the child abuse hotline. A husband and wife (the "plaintiffs") were actively involved in their church. The husband drives a church bus that regularly takes children in the neighborhood to church ...

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  • October 24, 2016

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