2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
January 16, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Ballweg and Billings,
cosponsored by Senators Darling and Johnson. Referred to Committee on
Children and Families.
1An Act to renumber and amend
48.981 (4); and to create
48.981 (4) (a) 5. of 2
the statutes; relating to: immunity from liability resulting from good faith
3actions under the child abuse and neglect reporting law.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law requires persons in certain professions, such as school teachers
and health care professionals, who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen
in the course of their professional duties has been abused or neglected, or who have
reason to believe that the child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that
abuse or neglect will occur, to report the alleged abuse or neglect to the appropriate
county or state agency or a law enforcement agency (mandatory reporters). Current
law allows persons who are not mandatory reporters to report suspected actual or
threatened child abuse or neglect in the same manner.
Under current law, any person or institution participating in good faith in the
making of such a report, conducting an investigation, ordering or taking of
photographs, or ordering or performing medical examinations of a child or of an
expectant mother has immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that results by
reason of the action. This bill adds that this immunity extends to persons who assist
in medical examinations of a child or expectant mother and to persons who
otherwise, in good faith, provide information, assistance, or consultation in
connection with a report, investigation, or legal intervention.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
48.981 (4) of the statutes is renumbered 48.981 (4) (a) and amended 2
(a) Any person or institution participating doing any of the following
in good faith in connection with a report under this section has immunity from any
5liability, civil or criminal, that results by reason of the action:
in the making of a report, conducting.
an investigation, ordering.
or taking of
photographs or ordering or.
performing, or assisting with
medical examinations of a child or 10
of an expectant mother under this section shall have immunity from any liability,
11civil or criminal, that results by reason of the action
For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any 13
person reporting under this section shall be presumed. The immunity provided 14
under this subsection does not apply to liability for abusing or neglecting a child or 15
for abusing an unborn child.
48.981 (4) (a) 5. of the statutes is created to read:
(a) 5. Otherwise providing information, assistance, or consultation 18
in connection with a report, investigation, or legal intervention.