Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-2294 Child custody proceedings: finding of sexual abuse. (2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/03/2018 04:00 AM
AB2294:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 13, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2294


Introduced by Assembly Member Obernolte

February 13, 2018


An act to amend Section 3027 of the Family Code, relating to child custody.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2294, as amended, Obernolte. Child custody proceedings: finding of sexual abuse.
Existing law authorizes a court to request the local child welfare services agency to conduct an investigation of allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, made during a child custody proceeding. Existing law requires a social worker to investigate these court-referred allegations of child abuse to the same extent as any other child abuse allegations, including interviewing a child 4 years of age or older under specific circumstances. Existing law requires the local child welfare services agency, upon completion of the investigation, to report its findings to the court. The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires the Department of Justice to maintain a database of investigations of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect, known as the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).
This bill would require a judge who makes a finding by a preponderance of evidence of sexual abuse following an evidentiary hearing to determine child custody to refer that finding to the Department of Justice pursuant to the provisions relating to the CACI, if the person found to have committed sexual abuse was a party to the proceedings and in court and represented by counsel for the proceedings. court to request the local child welfare services agency to conduct an investigation of allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, made during a child custody proceeding, when the court determines that it cannot protect the child from future child abuse, either through custody or protective orders. This bill would require the local welfare agency, upon completion of the investigation, to report its findings to the court. By requiring a local child welfare services agency to conduct an investigation under these additional circumstances, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3027 of the Family Code is amended to read:

3027.
 (a) If allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, are made during a child custody proceeding and the court has concerns regarding the child’s safety, the court may take any reasonable, temporary steps as the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate under the circumstances to protect the child’s safety until an investigation can be completed. Nothing in this section shall affect the applicability of Section 16504 or 16506 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) If allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, are made during a child custody proceeding, the court may request that the local child welfare services agency conduct an investigation of the allegations pursuant to Section 328 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Upon completion of the investigation, the agency shall report its findings to the court.

(c)A judge who makes a finding by a preponderance of evidence of sexual abuse, as defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, following an evidentiary hearing to determine child custody, shall refer that finding to the Department of Justice in compliance with Section 11169 of the Penal Code, if the person found to have committed sexual abuse was a party to the proceedings and in court and represented by counsel for the proceedings.

(c) If allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, are made during a child custody proceeding, and the court determines that it cannot protect the child from future child abuse, either through custody or protective orders, the court shall request that the local child welfare services agency conduct an investigation of the allegations pursuant to Section 328 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Upon completion of the investigation, the agency shall report its findings to the court.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.