AN ACT

 

1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions; <-repealing provisions relating to 
4immunity from liability; further providing for establishment 
5of pending complaint file, Statewide central register and 
6file of unfounded reports; repealing provisions relating to 
7amendment or expunction of information; and providing for 
8disposition of reports upon completion of investigation, for 
9requests for reviews of indicated reports for requests for 
10appeals of indicated reports and for immunity from liability 
<-11and further providing, for immunity from liability, for 
12establishment of pending complaint file, for Statewide 
13central register and file of unfounded reports and for 
14amendment or expunction of information<-; and making editorial 
15changes.

16The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
17hereby enacts as follows:

18Section 1. Section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
19Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding <-definitions a 
20definition to read:

21§ 6303. Definitions.

22(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used

1in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
2section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

3* * *

<-4"Child-care services." As follows:

5(1) Includes any of the following:

6(i) Child day-care centers.

7(ii) Group day-care homes.

8(iii) Family day-care homes.

9(iv) Foster homes.

10(v) Adoptive parents.

11(vi) Boarding homes for children.

12(vii) Juvenile detention center services or programs
13for delinquent or dependent children.

14(viii) Mental health services for children.

15(ix) Services for children with intellectual
16disabilities.

17(x) Early intervention services for children.

18(xi) Drug and alcohol services for children.

19(xii) Day-care services or programs that are offered
20by a school.

21(xiii) Other child-care services that are provided
22by or subject to approval, licensure, registration or
23certification by the Department of Public Welfare or a
24county social services agency or that are provided
25pursuant to a contract with the Department of Public
26Welfare or a county social services agency.

27(2) The term does not include child-care services or
28programs which may be offered by public and private schools,
29intermediate units or area-vocational-technical schools.

<-30"Child-care services." Includes any of the following:

1(1) Child day-care centers.

2(2) Group day-care homes.

3(3) Family day-care homes.

4(4) Foster homes.

5(5) Adoptive parents.

6(6) Boarding homes for children.

7(7) Juvenile detention center services or programs for
8delinquent or dependent children.

9(8) Mental health services for children.

10(9) Services for children with intellectual
11disabilities.

12(10) Early intervention services for children.

13(11) Drug and alcohol services for children.

14(12) Day-care services or programs that are offered by a
15school.

16(13) Other child-care services that are provided by or
17subject to approval, licensure, registration or certification
18by the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
19services agency or that are provided pursuant to a contract
20with the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
21services agency.

22* * *

<-23"School." A facility providing elementary, secondary or
24postsecondary educational services. The term includes the
25following:

26(1) Any school of a school district.

27(2) An area vocational-technical school.

28(3) A joint school.

29(4) An intermediate unit.

30(5) A charter school or regional charter school.

1(6) A cyber charter school.

2(7) A private school licensed under the act of January
328, 1988 (P.L.24, No.11), known as the Private Academic
4Schools Act.

5(8) A private school accredited by an accrediting
6association approved by the State Board of Education.

7(9) A nonpublic school.

8(10) A community college which is an institution now or
9hereafter created pursuant to Article XIX-A of the act of
10March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School
11Code of 1949, or the former act of August 24, 1963 (P.L.1132,
12No.484), known as the Community College Act of 1963.

13(11) An independent institution of higher education
14which is an institution of higher education which is operated
15not for profit, located in and incorporated or chartered by
16the Commonwealth, entitled to confer degrees as set forth in
1724 Pa.C.S. § 6505 (relating to power to confer degrees) and
18entitled to apply to itself the designation "college" or
19"university" as provided for by standards and qualifications
20prescribed by the State Board of Education pursuant to 24
21Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to private colleges, universities
22and seminaries).

23(12) A State-owned university.

24(13) A State-related university.

25(14) A private school licensed under the act of December
2615, 1986 (P.L.1585, No.174), known as the Private Licensed
27Schools Act.

28(15) The Hiram G. Andrews Center.

29(16) A private residential rehabilitative institution as
30defined in section 914.1-A(c) of the Public School Code of

11949.

2* * *

3Section 2. Section 6318 of Title 23 is repealed:

4[§ 6318. Immunity from liability.

5(a) General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
6facility, agency or agency employee that participates in good
7faith in the making of a report, whether required or not,
8cooperating with an investigation, including providing
9information to a child fatality or near fatality review team,
10testifying in a proceeding arising out of an instance of
11suspected child abuse, the taking of photographs or the removal
12or keeping of a child pursuant to section 6315 (relating to
13taking child into protective custody), and any official or
14employee of a county agency who refers a report of suspected
15abuse to law enforcement authorities or provides services under
16this chapter, shall have immunity from civil and criminal
17liability that might otherwise result by reason of those
18actions.

19(b) Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
20or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
21report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to
22report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
23a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
24be presumed.]

25Section 3. Section 6331(2) of Title 23 is amended to read:

26§ 6331. Establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide
27central register and file of unfounded reports.

28There shall be established in the department:

29* * *

30(2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which

1shall consist of founded and indicated reports[.] and which
2contains the following subfiles that shall be retained
3indefinitely:

4(i) A subfile of the names of perpetrators of
5indicated and founded reports of child abuse if the
6individual's Social Security number or date of birth is
7known to the department.

8(ii) A subfile of the names of the persons who made
9an intentionally false report of suspected child abuse
10under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to false reports of
11child abuse), including the name of the subject child,
12which shall only be made available to law enforcement,
13the department or the county agency investigating new
14allegations of suspected child abuse at child-care
15services, facility or school to determine the existence
16of a pattern of false reports of suspected child abuse on
17behalf of any one person or subject child.

18* * *

19Section 4. Section 6341 of Title 23 is repealed:

20[§ 6341. Amendment or expunction of information.

21(a) General rule.--At any time:

22(1) The secretary may amend or expunge any record under
23this chapter upon good cause shown and notice to the
24appropriate subjects of the report.

25(2) Any person named as a perpetrator, and any school
26employee named, in an indicated report of child abuse may,
27within 45 days of being notified of the status of the report,
28request the secretary to amend or expunge an indicated report
29on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being
30maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter.

1(b) Review of grant of request.--If the secretary grants the
2request under subsection (a)(2), the Statewide central register,
3appropriate county agency, appropriate law enforcement officials
4and all subjects shall be so advised of the decision. The county
5agency and any subject have 45 days in which to file an
6administrative appeal with the secretary. If an administrative 
7appeal is received, the secretary or his designated agent shall 
8schedule a hearing pursuant to Article IV of the act of June 13, 
91967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code, and 
10attending departmental regulations. If no administrative appeal 
11is received within the designated time period, the Statewide 
12central register shall comply with the decision of the secretary
13and advise the county agency to amend or expunge the information
14in their records so that the records are consistent at both the
15State and local levels.

16(c) Review of refusal of request.--If the secretary refuses
17the request under subsection (a)(2) or does not act within a
18reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after
19receipt of the request, the perpetrator or school employee shall
20have the right to a hearing before the secretary or a designated
21agent of the secretary to determine whether the summary of the
22indicated report in the Statewide central register should be
23amended or expunged on the grounds that it is inaccurate or that
24it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this
25chapter. The perpetrator or school employee shall have 45 days
26from the date of the letter giving notice of the decision to
27deny the request in which to request a hearing. The appropriate
28county agency and appropriate law enforcement officials shall be
29given notice of the hearing. The burden of proof in the hearing
30shall be on the appropriate county agency. The department shall

1assist the county agency as necessary.

2(d) Stay of proceedings.--Any administrative appeal
3proceeding pursuant to subsection (b) shall be automatically
4stayed upon notice to the department by either of the parties
5when there is a pending criminal proceeding or a dependency or 
6delinquency proceeding pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating
7to juvenile matters), including any appeal thereof, involving
8the same factual circumstances as the administrative appeal.

9(e) Order.--The secretary or designated agent may make any
10appropriate order respecting the amendment or expunction of such
11records to make them accurate or consistent with the
12requirements of this chapter.

13(f) Notice of expunction.--Written notice of an expunction
14of any child abuse record made pursuant to the provisions of
15this chapter shall be served upon the subject of the record who
16was responsible for the abuse or injury and the appropriate
17county agency. Except as provided in this subsection, the county
18agency, upon receipt of the notice, shall take appropriate,
19similar action in regard to the local child abuse and school
20employee records and inform, for the same purpose, the
21appropriate coroner if that officer has received reports
22pursuant to section 6367 (relating to reports to department and
23coroner). Whenever the county agency investigation reveals,
24within 60 days of receipt of the report of suspected child
25abuse, that the report is unfounded but that the subjects need
26services provided or arranged by the county agency, the county
27agency shall retain those records and shall specifically
28identify that the report was an unfounded report of suspected
29child abuse. An unfounded report regarding subjects who receive
30services shall be expunged no later than 120 days following the

1expiration of one year after the termination or completion of
2services provided or arranged by the county agency.]

3Section 5. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:

4§ 6341.1. Disposition of reports upon completion of
5investigation.

6(a) Final determination.--

7(1) Upon completion of an investigation by a county
8agency, the county agency shall:

9(i) inform the department that:

10(A) the child abuse report or complaint has been
11determined to be unfounded, indicated or founded; and

12(B) whether there is any acceptance for
13services; and

14(ii) if there is no acceptance for services, state
15whether the family was referred for other community
16services.

17(2) Each case shall bear a notation as to the effect of
18its outcome.

19(b) Review of indicated reports.--A final determination that
20a report of suspected child abuse is indicated shall be made:

21(1) if the county is the investigating agency, by the
22county administrator or a designee and the county solicitor;
23or

24(2) if the department is the investigating agency, by
25the secretary or a designee and legal counsel for the
26department.

27(c) Failure to make determination.--

28(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a report of suspected
29child abuse shall be considered to be an unfounded report if
30within 60 days of the date of the initial report an

1investigation of the report by the county agency does not
2determine that the report is a founded report, indicated
3report or unfounded report.

4(2) If court action has been initiated but the court has
5not determined that the report is a founded report, and the
6lack of such a determination results in the county agency not
7being able to make its determination under paragraph (1), the
8report shall be identified in the Statewide database as
9pending and the status of the report shall be updated in the
10Statewide database following the court determination.

11(d) Notification of court action.--The county agency shall
12advise the department that court action or an arrest has been
13initiated so that the database is kept current regarding the
14status of all legal proceedings.

15(e) Notice of final determination.--Within 24 business hours
16of entering of the information into the Statewide central
17registry, the department shall send notice of the final
18determination to the subjects of the report, other than the
19abused child, and the mandated reporter if a report was made
20under section 6313 (relating to reporting procedure). For the
21purpose of this section, notice of the report shall be deemed
22received by the intended recipient if the report was mailed to
23the recipient's last known post office address and was not
24returned to the department as undeliverable by the postal
25service. The notice shall include in following information:

26(1) The status of the report.

27(2) The perpetrator's right to request the secretary to
28amend the report.

29(3) The right of the subjects of the report to services
30from the county agency.

1(4) The effect of the report upon future employment
2opportunities involving children.

3(5) The fact that the name of the perpetrator, the
4nature of the abuse and the final status of the report will
5be kept on file indefinitely if the Social Security number or
6date of birth is known.

7(6) The perpetrator's right to appeal an indicated
8finding of abuse within 45 days of the conclusion of the
9investigation that determined the report to be indicated.

10(7) The perpetrator's right to a fair hearing on the
11merits on an appeal of an indicated report.

12(8) The burden on the investigative agency to prove its
13case by substantial evidence in an appeal of an indicated
14report.

15§ 6341.2. Requests for reviews of indicated reports.

16(a) Request by perpetrator.--A person named as a perpetrator
17in an indicated report may request the secretary to amend the
18report on the grounds that it is inaccurate or is being
19maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter. The
20request must be filed within 45 days of the date of the notice
21of the final determination that the report is indicated.

22(b) Amendment by secretary.--At any time the secretary may
23amend any record under this chapter upon good cause shown and
24notice to the appropriate subjects of the report and the county
25agency having jurisdiction over the report.

26(c) Review of refusal of request.--If the secretary refuses
27the request under subsection (a) or does not act within a
28reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after
29receipt of the request, the perpetrator shall have the right to
30a hearing before the secretary or a designated agent of the

1secretary to determine whether the summary of the indicated
2report in the Statewide central register should be amended or
3expunged on the grounds that it is inaccurate or that it is
4being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter. The
5perpetrator shall have 45 days from the date of the letter
6giving notice of the decision to deny the request in which to
7request a hearing. The appropriate county agency and appropriate
8law enforcement officials shall be given notice of the hearing.
9The burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the appropriate
10county agency. The department shall assist the county agency as
11necessary.

12(d) Appeal.--Subject to the provisions of section 6341.3
13(relating to requests for appeals of indicated reports), the
14perpetrator may appeal a denial of the request under subsection
15(c), and the county may appeal the granting of the request.

16(e) Order.--The secretary or designated agent may make any
17appropriate order respecting the amendment of an indicated
18report to make it accurate or consistent with the requirements
19of this chapter.

20§ 6341.3. Requests for appeals of indicated reports.

21(a) Request by perpetrator.--A person named as a perpetrator
22in an indicated report may request a hearing to appeal the
23determination. The request must be filed within 45 days of the
24date of the notice of the final determination that the report is
25indicated.

26(b) Time to appeal.--Appeals made under section 6341.2
27(relating to requests for reviews of indicated reports) must be
28received by the secretary within 45 days of the conclusion of
29the investigation determining that the report of suspected child
30abuse is an indicated report. Failure to timely file an appeal

1shall preclude any appeal of the indicated finding of child
2abuse.

3(c) Stay of proceedings.--An administrative appeal
4proceeding under this section shall be automatically stayed upon
5notice to the department by either of the parties when there is
6a pending criminal proceeding or a dependency or delinquency
7proceeding pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile
8matters), including any appeal thereof, involving the same
9factual circumstances as the administrative appeal.

10(d) Hearing.--The appeal hearing shall be scheduled
11according to the following procedures:

12(1) Within ten days of receipt of an appeal pursuant to
13this section, the department shall schedule a hearing on the
14merits of the appeal.

15(2) The department shall make reasonable efforts to
16coordinate the hearing date with both the appellee and
17appellant.

18(3) Proceedings before the Bureau of Hearings and
19Appeals shall commence within 90 days of the date the
20scheduling order is entered. Proceedings and hearings shall
21be scheduled to be heard on consecutive days whenever
22possible, but if not on consecutive days, then the proceeding
23or hearing shall be concluded no later than 30 days from
24commencement.

25(4) The investigative agency shall bear the burden of
26proving by substantial evidence that the report should remain
27categorized as an indicated report.

28(5) Evidence that a child has suffered child abuse of
29such a nature as would ordinarily not be sustained or exist
30except by reason of the act or failure to act of the alleged

1perpetrator shall be prima facie evidence of child abuse by
2either or both of the parents or any other person responsible
3for the child's welfare. Once the investigative agency has
4established that prima facie evidence of child abuse exists,
5the burden shall shift to the appellee to establish that the
6appellee was not the individual responsible for the welfare
7of the child or that the child was not the victim of child
8abuse by a perpetrator.

9(e) Testimony by closed-circuit television when available.--
10At the request of the investigative agency, the administrative
11law judge or hearing officer shall order that the testimony of
12the child victim or child material witness be taken under oath
13or affirmation in a room other than the hearing room and
14televised by close-circuit equipment to be viewed by the
15tribunal. Only the attorneys for the appellant and appellee, the
16court reporter, the administrative law judge or hearing officer,
17persons necessary to operate the equipment and any person whose
18presence would contribute to the welfare and well-being of the
19child may be present in the room with the child during the
20child's testimony. The administrative law judge or hearing
21officer shall permit the appellee to observe and hear the
22testimony of the child but shall ensure that the child cannot
23hear or see the appellee. The administrative law judge or
24hearing officer shall make certain that the appellee has
25adequate opportunity to communicate with counsel for the
26purposes of providing an effective examination.

27(f) Admissibility of certain statements.--An out-of-court
28statement, including a video, audio or other recorded statement,
29not otherwise admissible by statute or rule of evidence is
30admissible in evidence in a proceeding under this section if the

1following apply:

2(1) The statement was made by a child under ten years of
3age or by a child ten years of age or older who is
4intellectually disabled.

5(2) The statement alleges, explains, denies or describes
6any of the following:

7(i) An act of sexual penetration or contact
8performed with or on the child.

9(ii) An act of sexual penetration or contact with or
10on another child observed by the child making the
11statement.

12(iii) An act involving bodily injury or serious
13physical neglect of the child by another.

14(iv) An act involving bodily injury or serious
15physical neglect of another child observed by the child
16making the statement.

17(3) The administrative law judge or hearing officer
18finds that the time, content and circumstances of the
19statement and the reliability of the person to whom the
20statement is made provide sufficient indicia of reliability.

21(4) The proponent of the statement notifies other
22parties of an intent to offer the statement and the
23particulars of the statement sufficiently in advance of the
24proceeding at which the proponent intends to offer the
25statement into evidence to provide the parties with a fair
26opportunity to meet the statement.

27(g) Prompt decision.--The administrative law judge or
28hearing officer's decision shall be entered, filed and served
29upon the parties within 15 days of the date upon which the
30proceeding or hearing is concluded unless, within that time, the

1tribunal extends the date for the decision by order entered of
2record showing good cause for the extension. In no event shall
3an extension delay the entry of the decision more than 45 days
4after the conclusion of the proceeding or hearing.

5(h) Reconsideration and appeal.--Parties to a proceeding or
6hearing held under this section have 15 calendar days from the
7mailing date of the final order of the Bureau of Hearings and
8Appeals to request the secretary to reconsider the decision or
9appeal to Commonwealth Court. Parties to a proceeding or hearing
10held under this section have 30 calendar days from the mailing
11date of the final order of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals to
12perfect an appeal to the Commonwealth Court. The filing for
13reconsideration shall not toll the 30 days provided.

14(i) Notice of decision.--Notice of the decision shall be
15made to the Statewide database, the appropriate county agency,
16any appropriate law enforcement officials and all subjects of
17the report.

18(j) Notice of expunction.--Written notice of an expunction
19of any child abuse record made pursuant to the provisions of
20this chapter shall be served upon the subject of the record who
21was responsible for the abuse or injury and the appropriate
22county agency. Except as provided in this subsection, the county
23agency, upon receipt of the notice, shall take appropriate,
24similar action in regard to the local child abuse and school
25employee or child-care services employee records and inform, for
26the same purpose, the appropriate coroner if that officer has
27received reports pursuant to section 6367 (relating to reports
28to department and coroner). Whenever the county agency
29investigation reveals, within 60 days of receipt of the report
30of suspected child abuse, that the report is unfounded but that

1the subjects need services provided or arranged by the county
2agency, the county agency shall retain those records and shall
3specifically identify that the report was an unfounded report of
4suspected child abuse. An unfounded report regarding subjects
5who receive services shall be expunged no later than 120 days
6following the expiration of one year after the termination or
7completion of services provided or arranged by the county
8agency.

9§ 6379. Immunity from liability.

10(a) General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
11facility, agency or agency employee acting in good faith and
12without actual malice shall have immunity from civil and
13criminal liability that might otherwise result from any of the
14following:

15(1) Making a report of suspected child abuse or making a
16referral for general protective services, regardless of
17whether the report is required to be made under this chapter.

18(2) Cooperating or consulting with an investigation
19under this chapter, including providing information to a
20child fatality or near-fatality review team.

21(3) Testifying in a proceeding arising out of an
22instance of suspected child abuse or general protective
23services.

24(4) Engaging in any action taken under section 6314
25(relating to photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child
26subject to report), 6315 (relating to taking child into
27protective custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private
28and public hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory
29reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths).

30(b) Departmental and county agency immunity.--An official or

1employee of the department or county agency who refers a report
2of suspected child abuse or general protective services to law
3enforcement authorities or provides services under this chapter
4shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might
5otherwise result from the action.

6(c) Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
7or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
8report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to
9report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
10a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
11be presumed unless actual malice is proven.

12(d) False reports.--Any person who intentionally makes a
13false report of suspected child abuse pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. §
144906.1 (relating to false reports of child abuse) against a
15person, school employee, private residential rehabilitative
16institution employee, detention facility employee or child-care
17services employee commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.

18Section 6. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.

<-19Section 2.  Section 6318 of Title 23 is amended to read:

20§ 6318. Immunity from liability.

21[(a) General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
22facility, agency or agency employee that participates in good
23faith in the making of a report, whether required or not,
24cooperating with an investigation, including providing
25information to a child fatality or near fatality review team,
26testifying in a proceeding arising out of an instance of
27suspected child abuse, the taking of photographs or the removal
28or keeping of a child pursuant to section 6315 (relating to
29taking child into protective custody), and any official or
30employee of a county agency who refers a report of suspected

1abuse to law enforcement authorities or provides services under
2this chapter, shall have immunity from civil and criminal
3liability that might otherwise result by reason of those
4actions.

5(b) Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
6or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
7report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to
8report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
9a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
10be presumed.]

11(a)  General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
12facility, agency or agency employee acting in good faith shall
13have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might
14otherwise result from any of the following:

15(1)  Making a report of suspected child abuse or making a
16referral for general protective services, regardless of
17whether the report is required to be made under this chapter.

18(2)  Cooperating or consulting with an investigation
19under this chapter, including providing information to a
20child fatality or near-fatality review team.

21(3)  Testifying in a proceeding arising out of an
22instance of suspected child abuse or general protective
23services.

24(4)  Engaging in any action authorized under section 6314
25(relating to photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child
26subject to report), 6315 (relating to taking child into
27protective custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private
28and public hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory
29reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths).

30(b)  Departmental and county agency immunity.--An official or

1employee of the department or county agency who refers a report
2of suspected child abuse for general protective services to law
3enforcement authorities or provides services as authorized by
4this chapter shall have immunity from civil and criminal
5liability that might otherwise result from the action.

6(c)  Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
7or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
8report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to
9report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
10a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
11be presumed.

12Section 3.  Section 6331 heading and introductory paragraph
13of Title 23 are amended and the section is amended by adding a
14paragraph to read:

15§ 6331. Establishment of [pending complaint file,] Statewide
16[central register and file of unfounded reports]
17database.

18There shall be established in the department a Statewide 
19database of protective services, which shall include the 
20following, as provided by section 6336 (relating to information 
21in Statewide central register):

22* * *

23(4) False reports of child abuse pursuant to a
24conviction under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to false
25reports of child abuse) and invalid general protective
26services reports that a county agency or the department have
27determined to be false, for the purpose of identifying and
28tracking patterns of intentionally false reports.

<-29Section 2 4. Section 6341(c) of Title 23 is amended and the 
30section <-6341 is amended by adding subsections to read:

<-1§ 6341. Amendment or expunction of information.

2* * *

3(c.1) (Reserved).

<-4(b.2) (c.2)  Hearing.--A person making an appeal under
5subsection <-(a)(3) (a)(2) or (c) shall have the right to a timely
6hearing to determine the merits of the appeal. A hearing <-on the
7appeal of a person named as a perpetrator authorized under
8subsection (a)(3) shall be scheduled according to the following
9procedures:

10(1)  Within <-10 ten days of receipt of an appeal pursuant
11to this section, the department shall schedule a hearing on
12the merits of the appeal.

13(2)  The department shall make reasonable efforts to
14coordinate the hearing date with both the appellee and
15appellant.

16(3)  After reasonable efforts required by paragraph (2)
17have been made, the department shall enter a scheduling
18order, and proceedings before the Bureau of Hearings and
19Appeals shall commence within 90 days of the date the
20scheduling order is entered, unless all parties have agreed
21to a continuance. Proceedings and hearings shall be scheduled
22to be heard on consecutive days whenever possible, but if not
23on consecutive days, then the proceeding or hearing shall be
24concluded not later than 30 days from commencement.

25(4) The department or county agency shall provide a
26person making an appeal with all evidence gathered during the
27child abuse investigation that is relevant to the
28determination, including potentially exculpatory evidence.
29The evidence shall be provided not later than <-10 ten days
30following the entry of a scheduling order.

1(5)  The department or county agency shall bear the
2burden of proving by substantial evidence that the report
3should remain categorized as an indicated report.

<-4(b.3) (c.3)  Prompt decision.--The administrative law judge's
5or hearing officer's decision in a hearing under subsection
6(b.2) <-(c.2) shall be entered, filed and served upon the parties
7within 45 days of the date upon which the proceeding or hearing
8is concluded unless, within that time, the tribunal extends the
9date for the decision by order entered of record showing good
10cause for the extension. In no event shall an extension delay
11the entry of the decision more than 60 days after the conclusion
12of the proceeding or hearing.

<-13(b.4) (c.4)  Notice of decision.--Notice of the decision
14shall be made to the Statewide database, the appropriate county
15agency, any appropriate law enforcement officials and all
16subjects of the report, except for the abused child.

<-17* * *

<-18(c)  [Review of refusal of request.--If the secretary refuses
19the request under subsection (a)(2) or does not act within a
20reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after
21receipt of the request, the perpetrator or school employee shall
22have the right to a hearing before the secretary or a designated
23agent of the secretary to determine whether the summary of the
24indicated report in the Statewide central register should be
25amended or expunged on the grounds that it is inaccurate or that
26it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this
27chapter. The perpetrator or school employee shall have 45 days
28from the date of the letter giving notice of the decision to
29deny the request in which to request a hearing. The appropriate
30county agency and appropriate law enforcement officials shall be

1given notice of the hearing. The burden of proof in the hearing
2shall be on the appropriate county agency. The department shall
3assist the county agency as necessary.] Reconsideration and

<-4(g) Reconsideration and appeal.--Parties to a proceeding or
5hearing held under subsection <-(b.2) (c.2) have 15 calendar days
6from the mailing date of the final order of the Bureau of
7Hearings and Appeals to request the secretary to reconsider the
8decision or appeal to Commonwealth Court. Parties to a
9proceeding or hearing held under this section have 30 calendar
10days from the mailing date of the final order of the Bureau of
11Hearings and Appeals to perfect an appeal to Commonwealth Court.
12The filing for reconsideration shall not toll the 30 days
13provided.

<-14* * *

<-15Section 5. Sections 6353.2(a) introductory paragraph and
166353.3 introductory paragraph of Title 23 are amended to read:

17§ 6353.2. Responsibilities of county agency.

18(a) Information for the pending complaint file.--Immediately
19after receiving a report under section 6353.1 (relating to
20investigation), the county agency shall notify the department of
21the receipt of the report, which is to be filed in the pending
22complaint file as provided in section 6331(1) (relating to
23establishment of [pending complaint file,] Statewide [central
24register and file of unfounded reports] database). The oral
25report shall include the following information:

26* * *

27§ 6353.3. Information in Statewide central register.

28The Statewide central register established under section 6331
29(relating to establishment of [pending complaint file,]
30Statewide [central register and file of unfounded reports]

1database) shall retain only the following information relating
2to reports of abuse or injury of a student by a school employee
3which have been determined to be a founded report for school
4employee or an indicated report for school employee:

5* * *

6Section 3 6. The amendment of 23 Pa.C.S. <-§§ 6303(a) and §
76341 shall apply to appeals filed on or after the effective date
8of this section.

9Section 4 7. This act shall take effect <-July 1, 2014. as 
10follows:

11(1) The amendment of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(a) shall take
12effect December 31, 2014.

13(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1,
142014.

 

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