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North Dakota Child Abuse Laws

Note: If you or a loved one are the victim of child abuse or any kind of domestic violence, contact the North Dakota Child Protection Program or call Childhelp at 1-800-422-4453 or your local police department.

Child abuse is a crime in which a minor's health and welfare are put at risk by an adult, often a family member. This crime may be an action, such as physical or sexual abuse, or even inaction such as neglect. Under most state laws, children who are determined to be in unsafe home environments often are taken into protective custody. State "mandatory reporting" laws require certain individuals with close and/or regular access to children to report any credible suspicions of child abuse to the authorities.

North Dakota Child Abuse Laws at a Glance

Child abuse is taken seriously in all states, including North Dakota. Anyone with access or close proximity to children (such as teachers or pediatricians) must report any signs of child abuse to the proper authorities. The North Dakota Department of Human Services, which investigates reports of abuse, has offices throughout the state .

Additional details about child abuse laws in North Dakota, including a list of mandatory reporters, can be found in the following chart. See FindLaw's Child Abuse section to learn more.

Code Section 50-25.1-01, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Suffering from serious physical harm or traumatic abuse caused other than by accidental means including sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, corruption or solicitation
Grounds for Placing Child in Protective Custody
Any physician examining a child with respect to whom abuse or neglect is known or suspected, after reasonable attempts to advise the parents, guardian, or other person having responsibility for the care of the child that the physician suspects has been abused or neglected, may keep the child in the custody of the hospital or medical facility for not to exceed 96 hours and must immediately notify the juvenile court and the department in order that child protective proceedings may be instituted.  
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, nurse, dentist, optometrist, coroner, medical or mental health professional, religious practitioner, school teacher/administrator, social worker, day care center worker, police/law enforcement officer, addiction counselor, school counselor, clergy
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Having knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected or has died as a result of abuse or neglect
To Whom Reported Dept. of Human Services or its designee
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Class B misdemeanor; unless made to law enforcement officer, then Class A misdemeanor; willfully make false report, also liable for all civil damages including exemplary damages

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of new legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives, or other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota criminal defense attorney or family law attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources

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