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Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Maine

Last Reviewed: June 25, 2021

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 June of 2021.

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Posted:
  • November 30, 2017
  • Last Reviewed: June 25, 2021

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