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New Hampshire Revised Statutes
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Note to people who came here via a search engine: You are not at New Hampshire's RSA web site (follow the link above if you wish to be there). This folder has excerpts from a chapter of the NH RSAs that have some relevance to understanding and working with the state's Division of Children, Youth, and Families. These pages collect several sections into one page that is easier to navigate than the state's pages.


Chapter 169-C: Child Protection Act

169-C:3 Definitions.
When used in this chapter and unless the specific context indicates otherwise:
    I. "Abandoned'' means the child has been left by his parent, guardian or custodian, without provision for his care, supervision or financial support although financially able to provide such support.
    II. "Abused child'' means any child who has been:
       (a) Sexually abused; or
       (b) Intentionally physically injured; or
       (c) Psychologically injured so that said child exhibits symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect; or
       (d) Physically injured by other than accidental means.
    III. "Adjudicatory hearing'' means a hearing to determine the truth of the allegations in the petition filed under this chapter.
    IV. [Repealed].
    V. "Child'' means any person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday.
    VI. "Child care agency'' means a "child day care agency'' as defined in RSA 170-E:2, IV or a "child care agency'' as defined in RSA 170-E:25, II.
    VII. "Child placing agency'' means the department, Catholic charities of New Hampshire, or child and family services of New Hampshire, or any successor organization.
    VIII. "Consent order'' means a written agreement entered into among or between the parties regarding the facts and the disposition in a neglect or abuse case, and approved by the court.
    IX. "Court'' means the district court, unless otherwise indicated.
    X. "Custodian'' means an agency or person, other than a parent or guardian, licensed pursuant to RSA 170-E to whom legal custody of the child has been given by court order.
    XI. "Dispositional hearing'' means a hearing held after a finding of abuse or neglect to determine what dispositional order should be made on behalf of the child.
    XII. "Department'' means the department of health and human services.
    XIII. "Foster home'' means a residential care facility licensed pursuant to RSA 170-E for child care in which family care and training are provided on a regular basis for no more than 6 unrelated children, unless all the children are of common parentage.
    XIII-a. "Founded report'' means a report made pursuant to this chapter for which the department finds probable cause to believe that the child who is the subject of such report is abused or neglected.
    XIV. "Guardian'' means a parent or person appointed by a court having jurisdiction with the duty and authority to make important decisions in matters having a permanent effect on the life and development of the child, and to be concerned about the general welfare of the child. Such duty and authority include but are not necessarily limited either in number or kind to:
       (a) The authority to consent: (1) to marriage, (2) to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, and (3) to major medical, psychiatric and surgical treatment, (4) to represent the child in legal actions; and (5) to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
       (b) The authority and duty of reasonable visitation, except to the extent that such right of visitation has been limited by court order; and
       (c) The rights and responsibilities of legal custody except where legal custody has been vested in another individual or in an authorized agency.
    XIV-a. "Household member'' means any person living with the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child from time to time or on a regular basis, who is involved occasionally or regularly with the care of the child.
    XV. "Imminent danger'' means circumstances or surroundings causing immediate peril or risk to a child's health or life.
    XVI. "Institutional child abuse or neglect'' means situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect wherein the person responsible for the child's welfare is a foster parent or is an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency.
    XVII. "Legal custody'' means a status created by court order embodying the following rights and responsibilities unless otherwise modified by court order:
       (a) The right to determine where and with whom the child shall live;
       (b) The right to have the physical possession of the child;
       (c) The right and the duty to protect and constructively discipline the child; and
       (d) The responsibility to provide the child with food, clothing, shelter, education, emotional security and ordinary medical care provided that such rights and responsibilities shall be exercised subject to the power, rights, duties and responsibilities of the guardian of the child and subject to residual parental rights and responsibilities if these have not been terminated by judicial decree.
    XVIII. "Legal supervision'' means a legal status created by court order wherein the child is permitted to remain in his home under the supervision of a child placing agency subject to further court order.
    XIX. "Neglected child'' means a child:
       (a) Who has been abandoned by his parents, guardian, or custodian; or
       (b) Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian or custodian; or
       (c) Whose parents, guardian or custodian are unable to discharge their responsibilities to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization or other physical or mental incapacity;
Provided, that no child who is, in good faith, under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be a neglected child under this chapter.
    XX. "Notice'' means communication given in person or in writing to the parent, guardian, custodian or other interested party not having custody or control of the child, of the time and place fixed for hearing; and it shall be given in all cases, unless it appears to the court that such notice will be ineffectual.
    XXI. "Parent'' means mother, father, adoptive parent, but such term shall not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntary relinquishment.
    XXI-a. "Party having an interest'' means the child; the guardian ad litem of the child; the child's parent, guardian or custodian; the state; or any household member subject to court order.
    XXII. "A person responsible for a child's welfare'' includes the child's parent, guardian or custodian, as well as the person providing out-of-home care of the child, if that person is not the parent, guardian or custodian. For purposes of this definition, "out-of-home care'' includes child day care, and any other settings in which children are given care outside of their homes.
    XXIII. "Probable cause'' means facts and circumstances based upon accurate and reliable information, including hearsay, that would justify a reasonable person to believe that a child subject to a report under this chapter is abused or neglected.
    XXIV. "Protective custody'' means the status of a child who has been taken into physical custody by a police officer or juvenile probation and parole officer because the child was in such circumstances or surroundings which presented an imminent danger to the child's health or life and where there was not sufficient time to obtain a court order.
    XXV. "Protective supervision'' means the status of a child who has been placed with a child placing agency pending the adjudicatory hearing.
    XXVI. "Relative'' means parent, grandparent, brother, sister, stepparent, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, nieces, nephews or first and second cousins.
    XXVII. "Residual parental rights and responsibilities'' means those rights and responsibilities remaining with the parent after the transfer of legal custody or guardianship except guardianship pursuant to termination of parental rights, including, but not limited to, right of visitation, consent to adoption, right to determine religious affiliation and responsibilities for support.
    XXVII-a. "Sexual abuse'' means the following activities under circumstances which indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm: the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or having a child assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children. With respect to the definition of sexual abuse, the term "child'' or "children'' means any individual who is under the age of 18 years.
    XXVIII. "Unfounded report'' means a report made pursuant to this chapter for which the department finds that there is no probable cause to believe that the child is abused or neglected.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 291:1. 1986, 223:2, 3, 5, 6. 1987, 402:12. 1989, 146:1. 1990, 240:1; 257:5, 6. 1994, 212:2; 411:1, 2, 17, 19, I. 1995, 310:124, 175. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000.

169-C:3-a Rulemaking.
The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to:
    I. Information contained in the central registry under RSA 169-C:35.
    II. Access to confidential records under RSA 169-C:36.
    III. The authority to investigate reports of institutional abuse or neglect under RSA 169-C:37.

Source. 1983, 242:8; 291:1, II. 1986, 223:7. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:171, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

169-C:7 Petition.

    I. A proceeding under this chapter is originated by any person filing a petition, with a judge or clerk in the judicial district in which the child is found or resides, alleging neglect or abuse of a child.
    II. The petition shall be entitled "In the Matter of __________,'' and shall be verified under oath by the petitioner.
    III. To be legally sufficient, the petition shall set forth the facts alleged to constitute abuse or neglect, and the statutory grounds upon which the petition is based.
    IV. In addition, the petition shall also include, to the extent known:
       (a) The name, birth date, and address of the child.
       (b) The name and address of any custodial parent.
       (c) The name and address of any other individual or agency having custody of the child.
       (d) The name of any non-custodial parent.
       (e) The name of any household member who is subject to the order.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1990, 240:3. 1994, 411:5, 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.

169-C:8 Issuance of Summons and Notice.

    I. After a petition has been filed or an ex parte order issued, the court shall issue a summons to all persons named in the petition to be served by a law enforcement officer personally, or if personal service is not possible, at their usual place of abode. Such summons shall require the person or persons having custody or control of the child to appear personally and bring the child, unless otherwise ordered, before the court at a time and place set for a preliminary hearing, which shall not be less than 24 hours nor more than 7 days after return of service of the petition.
    II. A copy of the petition shall be attached to each summons or incorporated therein.
    III. The summons shall contain a notice that the child shall have a guardian ad litem, appointed by the court. The summons shall also state as follows: "Parents and other individuals chargeable by law for the child's support and necessities may be liable for expenses incurred in this proceeding including the costs of certain evaluations and placements. RSA 186-C regarding educationally disabled children grants children and their parents certain rights to services from school districts at public expense and to appeal school district decisions regarding services to be provided.''
    IV. The summons shall also contain a description and explanation of the proceedings and a statement of the rights of the person or persons summoned, under this chapter, RSA 170-C, and under the rules of court.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 458:8. 1990, 140:2, X. 1991, 214:1. 1994, 411:7. 1995, 308:65, eff. July 1, 1995.

169-C:9 Failure to Appear; Warrant.

    I. Any person or persons summoned having custody or control of the child who, without reasonable cause, fails to appear, may be proceeded against for contempt of court.
    II. In case the summons cannot be served, or the parties served fail to appear, or in the case when it appears to the court that service will be ineffectual, or that the best interest of the child requires that he be brought forthwith into the custody of the court, a warrant may be issued for the child's appearance against anyone having custody or control of the child.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

169-C:10 Attorneys and Guardians ad Litem.

    I. In cases brought pursuant to this chapter involving a neglected or abused child, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem or Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) guardian ad litem for the child. The court shall not appoint an attorney for any guardian ad litem appointed for the child, but may appoint an attorney or any other qualified individual as the guardian ad litem for the child. The CASA guardian ad litem shall have the same authority and access to information as any other guardian ad litem.
    II. (a) In cases involving a neglected or abused child under this chapter, where the child's expressed interests conflict with the recommendation for dispositional orders of the guardian ad litem, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the interests of the child. In any case of neglect or abuse brought pursuant to this chapter, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent an indigent parent alleged to have neglected or abused his or her child. In addition, the court may appoint an attorney to represent an indigent parent not alleged to have neglected or abused his or her child if the parent is a household member and such independent legal representation is necessary to protect the parent's interests. The court shall not appoint an attorney to represent any other persons involved in a case brought under this chapter.
       (b) When an attorney is appointed as counsel for a child, representation may include counsel and investigative, expert and other services, including process to compel the attendance of witnesses, as may be necessary to protect the rights of the child.
    III. The New Hampshire supreme court shall adopt rules regarding the duties and responsibilities of the CASA guardian ad litem or other guardian ad litem appointed for the child.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 308:67. 1997, 292:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

169-C:14 Hearings not Open to the Public.
The general public shall be excluded from any hearing under this chapter and such hearing shall, whenever possible, be held in rooms not used for criminal trials. Only such persons as the parties, their witnesses, counsel and representatives of the agencies present to perform their official duties shall be admitted.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1990, 53:1, eff. April 6, 1990.

169-C:14-a Records of Hearings.
The court shall notify parties of their right to request in advance of any hearing under this chapter that a record of such hearing shall be preserved and made available to the parties.

Source. 1996, 248:2, eff. Jan. 2, 1997.

169-C:16 Preliminary Disposition.

    I. If the court finds sufficient facts to sustain the petition, at a preliminary disposition, the court may:
       (a) Permit the child to remain with the parent, relative, guardian, or other custodian, subject to such conditions and limitations as the court may prescribe.
       (b) Transfer legal supervision to a child placing agency.
       (c) Transfer protective supervision to a child placing agency.
       (d) Issue an order of protection setting forth conditions of behavior by a parent, relative, guardian, custodian, or a household member. Such order may require any such person to:
          (1) Stay away from the premises, another party, or the child.
          (2) Permit a parent or other named person to visit the child at stated periods and under such conditions as the court may order.
          (3) Abstain from harmful conduct with respect to the child or any person to whom custody of the child is awarded.
          (4) Correct specified deficiencies in the home that make the home a harmful environment for the child.
          (5) Refrain from specified acts of commission or omission that make the home a harmful environment for the child.
    II. A neglected or abused child shall not be placed in an institution established for the care and rehabilitation of delinquent children, the youth development center or any institution where an adult is confined.
    III. The court may at any time order the child, parents, guardian, custodian, or household member subject to the petition or ex parte order, to submit to a mental health evaluation, or undergo a physical examination or treatment, with a written assessment being provided to the court. The court may order that the child, who is the subject of the petition or the family or both be evaluated by a mental health center or any other psychiatrist, psychologist or psychiatric social worker or family therapist or undergo physical examination or treatment with a written assessment provided to the court. Evaluations performed at the Philbrook center may occur only upon receiving prior approval for such evaluation from the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.
    IV. If the child, the parent, guardian or custodian objects to the mental health evaluation, he shall object in writing to the court having jurisdiction within 5 days after notification of the time and place of said evaluation. The court shall hold a hearing to consider the objection prior to ordering said evaluation. Upon good cause shown, the court may excuse the child, the parent, guardian or custodian from the provisions of this section.
    V. If an order is made on a person not before the court under subparagraph I(d)(1), it shall be served on such person by a law enforcement officer. A hearing to challenge an order may be requested in writing. The hearing shall be held within 5 days of the request. A request for a hearing shall not stay the effect of the order.
    VI. When the party subject to the order has an obligation to support the child in question, the court may order such party to remain out of the residence of the child. When the party subject to the order has no duty to support the child and solely owns or leases the residence of the child, the court may order such party to remain out of the residence of the child for a period of no more than 30 days.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1985, 195:5. 1990, 3:47. 1994, 411:9-12. 1995, 310:182, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

169-C:18 Adjudicatory Hearing.

    I. An adjudicatory hearing under this chapter shall be conducted by the court separate from the trial of criminal cases.
    II. A record of the adjudicatory hearing shall be preserved unless expressly waived in writing by the parties, and the parties shall be notified in writing of their right to appeal.
    III. The petitioner shall present witnesses to testify in support of the petition and any other evidence necessary to support the petition. The petitionees shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses on their own behalf and to cross-examine adverse witnesses. The admissibility of all evidence in this hearing shall be determined by RSA 169-C:12.
    IV. If the court does not find sufficient evidence of neglect or abuse, it shall dismiss the petition.
    V. If the court determines that a child has been abused or neglected, the court shall order a child placing agency to make an investigation and a social study consisting of, but not limited to, the home conditions, family background, and financial assessment, school record, mental, physical and social history of the family, including sibling relationships and residences for appropriateness of preserving relationships between siblings who are separated as a result of court ordered placement, and submit it in writing to the court prior to the final disposition of the case. No disposition order shall be made by a court without first reviewing the social study except pursuant to a voluntary consent order or when waived by all the parties. Preliminary orders, continued pursuant to RSA 169-C:16, may be entered or modified as appropriate until the dispositional hearing.
    V-a. The department's dispositional report shall include:
       (a) A description of efforts made by the department to avoid the need for placement and an explanation of why these efforts were unsuccessful.
       (b) An explanation why the child cannot be protected from the identified problems in the home even if services are provided to the child and family.
    VI. The social study will be used only after a finding of neglect or abuse and only as a guide for the court in determining an appropriate disposition for a child. The court shall share the report with the parties. Any psychiatric report shall be used by the court only after a finding of neglect or abuse unless such report is submitted for determination of competency.
    VII. The court shall hold a hearing on final disposition within 30 days after a finding of neglect or abuse.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1994, 411:13. 1996, 248:3. 1998, 203:1, eff. June 18, 1998. 2002, 179:1, eff. July 14, 2002.

169-C:23 Standard for Return of Child in Placement.
In the absence of a guardianship of the person of the minor, governed by the terms of RSA 463, before a child in out-of-home placement is returned to the custody of his or her parents, the parent or parents shall demonstrate to the court that:
    I. They are in compliance with the outstanding dispositional court order;
    II. The child will not be endangered in the manner adjudicated on the initial petition, if returned home;
    III. Return of custody is in the best interests of the child. Upon showing the ability to provide proper parental care, it shall be presumed that a return of custody is in the child's best interests.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 149:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

169-C:25 Confidentiality.

    I. The court records of proceedings under this chapter shall be kept in books and files separate from all other court records. Such records shall be withheld from public inspection but shall be open to inspection by the parties, child, parent, guardian, custodian, attorney or other authorized representative of the child.
    II. It shall be unlawful for any person present during a child abuse or neglect hearing to disclose any information concerning the hearing that may identify a child or parent who is involved in the hearing without the prior permission of the court. Any person who knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    III. All case records, as defined in RSA 170-G:8-a, relative to abuse and neglect, shall be confidential, and access shall be provided pursuant to RSA 170-G:8-a.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 331:3. 1990, 19:2. 1993, 266:3; 355:4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. 2002, 243:1, eff. May 17, 2002.

169-C:28 Appeals.

    I. An appeal under this chapter may be taken to the superior court by the child or the child's authorized representative or any party having an interest, including the state, or any person subject to any administrative decision pursuant to this chapter, within 30 days of the final dispositional order; but an appeal shall not suspend the order or decision of the court unless the court so orders. The superior court shall hear the matter de novo, and shall give an appeal under this chapter priority on the court calendar. For purposes of this chapter, a "final dispositional order'' includes a dismissal of a petition for abuse and neglect by the district court. "Final dispositional order'' shall also include any ruling or order arising from an administrative hearing held or initiated by any administrative agency, including the department, in which a finding of child abuse or neglect is made.
    II. This section shall apply to all appeals under this chapter, including appeals in proceedings before the family division of the courts.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1989, 40:1. 1998, 235:1. 2000, 254:3, eff. June 12, 2000.

169-C:29 Persons Required to Report.
Any physician, surgeon, county medical examiner, psychiatrist, resident, intern, dentist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, therapist, registered nurse, hospital personnel (engaged in admission, examination, care and treatment of persons), Christian Science practitioner, teacher, school official, school nurse, school counselor, social worker, day care worker, any other child or foster care worker, law enforcement official, priest, minister, or rabbi or any other person having reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the same in accordance with this chapter.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

169-C:30 Nature and Content of Report.
An oral report shall be made immediately by telephone or otherwise, and followed within 48 hours by a report in writing, if so requested, to the department. Such report shall, if known, contain the name and address of the child suspected of being neglected or abused and the person responsible for the child's welfare, the specific information indicating neglect or the nature and extent of the child's injuries (including any evidence of previous injuries), the identity of the person or persons suspected of being responsible for such neglect or abuse, and any other information that might be helpful in establishing neglect or abuse or that may be required by the department.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1989, 146:2. 1994, 411:17. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

169-C:31 Immunity From Liability.
Anyone participating in good faith in the making of a report pursuant to this chapter is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant has the same immunity with respect to participation in any investigation by the department or judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1994, 411:17. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

169-C:34 Duties of the Department of Health and Human Services.

    I. If it appears that the immediate safety or well-being of a child is endangered, the family may flee or the child disappear, or the facts otherwise so warrant, the department shall commence an investigation immediately after receipt of a report. In all other cases, a child protective investigation shall be commenced within 72 hours of receipt of the report.
    II. For each report it receives, the department shall promptly perform a child protective investigation to: (i) determine the composition of the family or household, including the name, address, age, sex and race of each child named in the report, and any siblings or other children in the same household or in the care of the same adults, the parents or other persons responsible for their welfare, and any other adults in the same household; (ii) determine whether there is probable cause to believe that any child in the family or household is abused or neglected, including a determination of harm or threatened harm to each child, the nature and extent of present or prior injuries, abuse or neglect, and any evidence thereof, and a determination of the person or persons apparently responsible for the abuse or neglect; (iii) determine the immediate and long-term risk to each child if the child remains in the existing home environment; and (iv) determine the protective treatment, and ameliorative services that appear necessary to help prevent further child abuse or neglect and to improve the home environment and the parents' ability to adequately care for the children.
    III. The department may request and shall receive from any agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions or any schools, such assistance and information as will enable it to fulfill its responsibilities under this section.
    IV. Upon notification by the department that the immediate safety or well-being of a child may be endangered, the court may, in its discretion, order a police officer, juvenile probation and parole officer, or child protection service worker to enter the place where the child is located, in furtherance of such investigation.
    V. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the department may, pursuant to a voluntary service plan that is developed and provided for a minor and the minor's family by the department, offer voluntary services to families without making a determination of the person or persons apparently responsible for the abuse or neglect. The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the provision of voluntary services under this paragraph.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 1994, 411:15-17. 1995, 310:175, 181. 2000, 294:9. 2001, 279:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

169-C:35 Central Registry.

    I. There shall be established a state registry for the purpose of maintaining a record of founded reports of abuse and neglect. The registry shall be confidential and subject to rules on access established by the commissioner of the department under RSA 541-A.
    II. Upon receipt by the department of a written request and verified proof of identity, an individual shall be informed by the department whether that individual's name is listed in the founded reports maintained in the central registry. It shall be unlawful for any employer other than those specified in RSA 170-E and RSA 170-G:8-c to require as a condition of employment that the employee submit his or her name for review against the central registry of founded reports of abuse and neglect. Any violation of this provision shall be punishable as a violation.
    III. Founded reports of abuse and neglect shall be retained for a period of 7 years subject to an individual's right to petition for the earlier removal of his or her name from the central registry as provided in this section.
    IV. Any individual whose name is listed in the founded reports maintained on the central registry may petition the district court to have his or her name expunged from the registry.
       (a) A petition to expunge shall be filed in the district court where the abuse and neglect petition was heard. In cases where the department makes a finding but no petition is filed with the court, a petition to expunge shall be filed in the district court where the petition for the abuse and neglect could have been brought.
       (b) A petition to expunge shall be filed on forms promulgated by the district courts and may include any information the petitioner deems relevant.
       (c) When a petition to expunge is filed, the district court shall require the department to report to the court concerning any additional founded abuse and neglect reports on the petitioner and shall require that the department submit the petitioner's name, birth date, and address to the state police to obtain information about criminal convictions. The court may require the department to provide any additional information that the court believes may aid it in making a determination on the petition.
       (d) Upon the receipt of the department's report, the court may act on the petition without further hearing or may schedule the matter for hearing at the request of either party. If the court determines that the petitioner does not pose a present threat to the safety of children, the court shall grant the petition and order the department to remove the individual's name from the central registry. Otherwise, the petition shall be dismissed.
    V. When an individual's name is added to the central registry, the department shall notify individuals of their right to petition to have their name expunged from the central registry. No petition to expunge shall be brought within one year from the date that the petitioner's name was initially entered on the central registry. If the petition to expunge is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 331:5. 1985, 367:1. 1993, 355:5. 1995, 310:173, 175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2002, 111:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.

169-C:38 Report to Law Enforcement Authority.

    I. The department shall immediately by telephone or in person refer all cases in which there is reason to believe that any person under the age of 18 years has been: (a) sexually molested; (b) sexually exploited; (c) intentionally physically injured so as to cause serious bodily injury; (d) physically injured by other than accidental means so as to cause serious bodily injury; or (e) a victim of a crime, to the local law enforcement agency in the community in which the acts of abuse are believed to have occurred. The department shall also make a written report to the law enforcement agency within 48 hours, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded. A copy of this report shall be sent to the office of the county attorney.
    II. All law enforcement personnel and department employees shall cooperate in limiting the number of interviews of a child victim and, when appropriate, shall conduct joint interviews of the child. Employees of the department shall share with the investigating police officers all information in their possession which it is lawful for them to disclose to a law enforcement agency. Investigating police officers shall not use or reveal any confidential information shared with them by the department except to the extent necessary for the investigation and prosecution of the case.
    III. No staff member of the department shall be held civilly or criminally liable for a telephone referral or a written report made under paragraph I.
    IV. Law enforcement personnel or department employees who are trained caseworkers shall have the right to enter any public place, including but not limited to schools and child care agencies, for the purpose of conducting an interview with a child, with or without the consent or notification of the parent or parents of such child, if there is reason to believe that the child has been:
       (a) Sexually molested.
       (b) Sexually exploited.
       (c) Intentionally physically injured so as to cause serious bodily injury.
       (d) Physically injured by other than accidental means so as to cause serious bodily injury.
       (e) A victim of a crime.
       (f) Abandoned.
       (g) Neglected.
    V. For any interview conducted pursuant to paragraph IV, the interview with the child shall be videotaped if possible. If the interview is videotaped, it shall be videotaped in its entirety. If the interview cannot be videotaped in its entirety, an audio recording of the entire interview shall be made.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1986, 225:1. 1988, 237:1. 1994, 411:17. 1995, 310:175. 1998, 185:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

169-C:39 Penalty for Violation.
Anyone who knowingly violates any provision of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.