Punishment

Failure to file: It is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1000 for a mandated reporter to fail to file a 51A Report when he/she has reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected.

Abuse/Neglect Resulting in Serious Injury or Death: Effective July 1, 2010, it is a crime for a mandated reporter to willfully fail to file a 51A Report if he/she has knowledge of child abuse or neglect that resulted in serious injury to or death of a child. The penalty for this new crime is:

  • Imprisonment in jail for not more than 2½ years and up to $5000.
  • Additionally, the trial court shall notify any appropriate professional licensing authority of the mandated reporter's violation upon a guilty finding or continuance without a finding for this offense.

Child Death From Abuse/Neglect - Additional Reporting Obligations: As of July 1, 2010, a mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to believe a child has died as a result of a reportable condition must report the death to the District Attorney for the county where the death occurred and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Failure to do so is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1000.

Frivolous Report: It is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1000 for anyone, including mandated reporters, to willfully file a frivolous 51A Report. As of July 1, 2010, there are enhanced penalities for this crime, which will become punishable by:

  • Up to $2000 fine (first offense)
  • Imprisonment in jail for not more than 6 months and up to $2000 fine (second offense)
  • Imprisonment in jail for not more than 2½ years and up to $2000 fine (third or subsequent offense)