Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
February 12, 1999
Janis Baron (303-866-3523)
TITLE: CONCERNING FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE.
Summary of Assessment
The bill requires that any person who knowingly makes a false report of child abuse or neglect to a county department of social services or a local law enforcement agency is liable for the other party's attorney fees and other costs related to the bad faith allegation. The bill requires all courts to report findings of false reporting to the district attorney's office for investigation and a determination as to whether to charge the person with a violation of the prohibition on false reporting, punishable as a class 3 misdemeanor. Additionally, immunity from civil and criminal liability or termination of employment is not given to any person determined to have knowingly violated the prohibition on false reporting or to have knowingly presented false information in an investigation or judicial proceeding.
The bill does not create a new class 3 misdemeanor, it provides clarifying language and places added responsibilities on persons who knowingly make false reports of child abuse or neglect. The Judicial Department indicates that any increase in county and district court workload resulting from the bill is estimated to be minimal, and can be absorbed within existing resources. Therefore, the bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact on either state or local government agencies. The bill is effective upon signature of the Governor.