Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Introduced Version House Bill 2935 History

   |  Email


hb2935 intr
H. B. 2935


(By Delegates Overington, Blair, Brown, Rowan,
Tansill, Roberts, Trump, Palumbo and Sumner)

[Introduced March 8, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §7-10-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §9-6-9 of said code; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §9-6-9a; to amend and reenact §48-27-702 of said code; to amend and reenact §49-6A-2 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-6A-2a, all relating to requiring cross-reporting among child protective service workers, adult protective service workers, law-enforcement officers and humane officers of suspected child abuse or neglect, suspected abuse or neglect of incapacitated or elderly adults or animal cruelty or inhumane treatment.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-10-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §9-6-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §9-6-9a; that §48-27-702 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §49-6A-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-6A-2a, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 10. HUMANE OFFICERS.
§7-10-2. Duty of humane officers; reporting requirement when abuse or neglect of individuals suspected; prohibition against interference with humane officers.

(a) It is the duty of such humane officers to prevent the perpetration or continuance of any act of cruelty upon any animal and to investigate, and upon probable cause, to cause the arrest and assist in the prosecution of any person engaging in such cruel and forbidden practices. Upon reasonable cause, and as provided by law, such officers have the right to access and inspection of records and property as may be reasonably necessary to any investigation.
(b) Whenever a humane officer, pursuant to an investigation of animal cruelty, forms a reasonable suspicion that domestic violence has occurred or that a minor child, or incapacitated or elderly person, is the victim of abuse or neglect, he or she shall report the suspicion and the grounds therefor to the appropriate agency. In the event of suspected child abuse or neglect, the humane officer shall report to the local state department child protective service agency in accordance with the provisions of section five, article six-a, chapter forty-nine of this code. In the event of suspected abuse or neglect of an incapacitated or elderly person, he or she shall report to the local state department adult protective services agency in accordance with the provisions of section eleven, article six, chapter nine of this code.
(c) Any person who interferes with, obstructs or resists any such humane officer in the discharge of his or her duty is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, or confined in the county jail not more than thirty days, or both so fined and confined. Any such penalties are imposed for a violation of this subsection shall be imposed in addition to any penalties such the person may incur incurs for cruel or inhumane treatment of any animal.
CHAPTER 9. HUMAN SERVICES.

ARTICLE 6. SOCIAL SERVICES FOR ADULTS.
§9-6-9. Mandatory reporting of incidences of abuse, neglect or emergency situation.

(a) If any medical, dental or mental health professional, Christian science practitioner, religious healer, social service worker, law-enforcement officer, humane officer, state or regional ombudsman or any employee of any nursing home or other residential facility has reasonable cause to believe that an incapacitated adult or facility resident is or has been neglected, abused or placed in an emergency situation, or if such person observes an incapacitated adult or facility resident being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse, neglect or an emergency situation, the person shall immediately report the circumstances pursuant to the provisions of section eleven of this article: Provided, That nothing in this article is intended to prevent individuals from reporting on their own behalf.
(b) In addition to those persons and officials specifically required to report situations involving suspected abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult or facility resident or the existence of an emergency situation, any other person may make such a report.
(c) The secretary shall develop a form for the filing of written complaints, as provided by section eleven of this article, and provide these forms to all nursing homes or other residential facilities, hospitals, ombudsmen and adult protective service agencies in this state. The forms shall be designed to protect the identity of the complainant, if desired, and to facilitate the prompt filing of complaints.
§9-6-9a. Mandatory reporting suspected of animal cruelty by adult protective service workers.

In the event an adult protective service worker, in response to a report mandated by section nine of this article, forms a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruel or inhumane treatment, he or she shall report the suspicion and the basis therefor to the county humane officer provided under section one, article ten, chapter seven of this code, within twenty-four hours of the response to the report.
CHAPTER 48. DOMESTIC RELATIONS.

ARTICLE 27. PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
§48-27-702. Law-enforcement officers to provide information, transportation and to report suspicions of animal cruelty.

(a) Any law-enforcement officer responding to an alleged incident of domestic violence shall inform the parties of the availability of the possible remedies provided by this article and the possible applicability of the criminal laws of this state. Any law-enforcement officer investigating an alleged incident of domestic violence shall advise the victim of such violence of the availability of the family protection shelter to which such person may be admitted.
(b) If there is reasonable cause to believe that a person is a victim of domestic violence or is likely to be a victim of domestic violence, a law-enforcement officer responding to an alleged incident of domestic violence shall, in addition to providing the information required in subsection (a) of this section, provide transportation for or facilitate transportation of the victim, upon the request of such victim, to a shelter or an appropriate court.
(c) Whenever a law-enforcement officer, pursuant to a response to an alleged incident of domestic violence, forms a reasonable suspicion that an animal is a victim of cruel or inhumane treatment, he or she shall report the suspicion and the grounds therefor to the county humane officer within twenty-four hours of the response to the alleged incident of domestic violence.
CHAPTER 49. CHILD WELFARE.

ARTICLE 6A. REPORTS OF CHILDREN SUSPECTED TO BE ABUSED OR NEGLECTED.

§49-6A-2. Persons mandated to report suspected abuse and neglect.

When any medical, dental or mental health professional, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer, school teacher or other school personnel, social service worker, child care or foster care worker, emergency medical services personnel, peace officer or law-enforcement official, humane officer, member of the clergy, circuit court judge, family law master, employee of the Division of Juvenile Services or magistrate has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused or observes the child being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse or neglect, such person shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after suspecting this abuse, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the State Department of Health and Human Services: Provided, That in any case where the reporter believes that the child suffered serious physical abuse or sexual abuse or sexual assault, the reporter shall also immediately report, or cause a report to be made, to the Division of Public Safety State Police and any law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the complaint: Provided, however, That any person required to report under this article who is a member of the staff of a public or private institution, school, facility or agency shall immediately notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or a designated agent thereof, who shall report or cause a report to be made. However, nothing in this article is intended to prevent individuals from reporting on their own behalf.
In addition to those persons and officials specifically required to report situations involving suspected abuse or neglect of children, any other person may make a report if such person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected in a home or institution or observes the child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.
§49-6A-2a. Mandatory reporting of suspected animal cruelty by child protective service workers.

In the event a child protective service worker, in response to a report mandated by section two of this article, forms a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruel or inhumane treatment, he or she shall report the suspicion and the basis therefor to the county humane officer provided under section one, article ten, chapter seven of this code, within twenty-four hours of the response to the report.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require cross-reporting among child protective service workers, adult protective service workers, law-enforcement officers and humane officers of suspected child abuse or neglect, suspected abuse or neglect of incapacitated or elderly adults, or animal cruelty or inhumane treatment.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§9-6-9a and §49-6A-2a are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ***