Report Title:

Children; Immunity Protections

Description:

Severs immunity protections for violation of the child protective act.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1809

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to children.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that respondent parents, interested parties, and children have no effective civil or criminal recourse when the State or its agents acts to violate provisions of the child protective act, in the course of their endeavors to protect abused or neglected children, when those actions cause irreparable harm to the children and families affected.

The legislature further finds that aggrieved parents, interested parties, and children have made numerous appeals to various political, legislative, and oversight bodies without obtaining satisfaction for their grievances, in part, because the child protective act does not impose any civil or criminal liability or remedies for the State's failure to comply with child protective act provisions.

Injured parties often cannot obtain counsel to represent their case in a civil rights action because of the blanket immunity protections afforded to the State's representatives and parties.

The legislature finds that undeserved, absolute immunity protections undermine public confidence in our state child protective agencies, in our judicial process, and in the legal profession. Thus, this Act creates a severance of such immunity protections when the employees of the State, any county, or the department of human services, its representatives, or parties have acted in bad faith.

SECTION 2. Chapter 587, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"587- Remedies for violating child protective act. Any employee of the State, any county, or the department of human services, their service providers or contractors, any party representing the State in a case under this chapter, or any officer of the court who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter or who knowingly fails to correct or prevent any violation of this chapter shall be presumed to be acting in bad faith and shall be severed from any and all immunity protections to which the person is otherwise afforded."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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