False reporting of child abuse (sexual) or neglect


#1

Is there a NC statute that addresses FALSE reporting of child abuse or neglect, and if so, could you:

  1. Direct me to the statute.
  2. Do you know what the penalties are for this false reporting to a governmental agency, i.e., social services of Wake County?
  3. If none of the above, is there anything that can be done?

#2

We not practice in that area of the law, I would suggest you contact DSS.


#3

It’s a potential application of the law, and the burden would be on the prosecution to prove that the allegation was in bad faith and knowingly false.

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_14/gs_14-225.html

The qualifying phrase that could be argued is the “for the purpose of interfering with the operation of a law enforcement agency, or to hinder or obstruct any law enforcement officer in the performance of his duty” phrase. My bet is that the initiation of this prosecution would have to come from the police department that had spent the resources on the investigation which means that the cost of investigation and monetary damage to the department would have to be worth more than any subsequent investigation to prove that she had knowingly made a false allegation.

I’M NOT AN ATTORNEY


#4

Actually, I have been in this situation as well. Athos is correct and it would be the agency that would have to pursue the person initiating false claims. I spoke to DSS legal department after a false allegation and investigation was completed (favorable report for me, I might add) and they stated they would not pursue based off a single false allegation, no matter how obvious it was, but if it were to happen again they would consider pursual. In my case, the investigator that investigated me and completed the report stated she would be following up with “the person” and notifying them of the seriousness of the false allegation and the potentional for legal recourse if it were to happen again.

Seems to me that we should be able to pursue something on our own for harassment or something like it, though. I’m sure you are probably in the same situation where false allegations are not the extent of what is going on at the moment.