California

 
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The Laws That Should Protect Our Children

Current Civil SOL in a nutshell

SOL vs. perp, employer: +8 years from majority = Age 26
Majority Tolling: Age 18
Discovery Tolling: Liberal (+3 years)

Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell

As of January 1, 2017: NONE. California Senate Bill 813, codified this change.
As of January 1, 2015: Up to Age 40
Before January 1, 2015: Up to Age 28

Age of Majority: 18. See, Cal. Fam. Code § 6500.
Age of Consent: 18. See, Cal. Penal Code § 261.5.
Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: Under 18 with judicial consent (court can also require parties to partake in premarital counseling if deemed necessary).
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, Cal. Fam. Code § 301, 302.


Medical Neglect Statute

CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

Whenever it is alleged that a child comes within the jurisdiction of the court on the basis of the parent’s or guardian’s willful failure to provide adequate medical treatment or specific decision to provide spiritual treatment through prayer, the court shall give deference to the parent’s or guardian’s medical treatment, nontreatment, or spiritual treatment through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, by an accredited practitioner thereof, and shall not assume jurisdiction unless necessary to protect the child from suffering serious physical harm or illness. In making its determination, the court shall consider (1) the nature of the treatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (2) the risks to the child posed by the course of treatment or nontreatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (3) the risk, if any, of the course of treatment being proposed by the petitioning agency, and (4) the likely success of the courses of treatment or nontreatment proposed by the parent or guardian and agency. The child shall continue to be a dependent child pursuant to this subdivision only so long as is necessary to protect the child from risk of suffering serious physical harm or illness.

Calif. Welfare and Institutions Code §300(b)(1)

A child shall not be found to be [suffering serious emotional damage or at substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage as a result of the conduct of the parent or guardian] if the willful failure of the parent or guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial intervention is available.

Calif. Welfare and Institutions Code §300( c)

In any case in which a child is alleged to come within the provisions of Section 300 on the basis that he or she is in need of medical care, the court, in making that finding, shall give consideration to any treatment being provided to the child by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by an accredited practitioner thereof.

Calif. Welfare and Institutions Code §300.5

For the purposes of this chapter, a child receiving treatment by spiritual means as provided in Section 16508 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall not for that reason alone be considered an abused or neglected child.

California Welfare and Institutions Code §18950.5

No child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomina¬tion by a duly accre¬dited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be consi¬dered to have been neglected within the purview of this chapter.

California Welfare and Institutions Code §16509.1

Cultural and religious child-rearing practices and beliefs which differ from general community standards shall not in themselves create a need for child welfare services unless the prac¬tices present a speci¬fic danger to the physical or emotional safety of the child.

California Welfare and Institutions Code §16509

CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

CALIFORNIA defense to nonsupport and failure to report suspected child neglect

If a parent of a minor child willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary clothing, food, shelter, medical attendance, or other remedial care for his/her child, he/she is guilty of a misdemeanor. . . . If a parent provides a minor with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, by a duly accredited practitioner thereof, such treatment shall constitute “other remedial care,” as used in this section.

California Penal Code §270

For the purposes of this chapter, a child receiving treatment by spiritual means as provided in Section 16509.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or not receiving specified medical treat¬ment for religious reasons, shall not for that reason alone be considered a neglected child.

California Penal Code §11165.2(b)

The California Supreme Court upheld a manslaughter conviction of a Christian Science mother, Laurie Walker, who let her daughter die of untreated meningitis. The Court ruled that the legislature did not intend for the religious defense to non-support to apply to felony charges. Walker v. Superior Court, 763 P.2d 852 (Cal. 1988), cert. denied, 491 U.S. 905 (1989) Justice Mosk wrote a concurring opinion that the Section 270 defense had “fatal constitutional defects” as violating the Establishment Clause.

Walker applied for a writ of habeas corpus challenging her conviction. A federal court overturned her conviction on grounds that it violated her right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment because of Section 270. The court did not reach several other claims raised by Walker. Walker v. Keldgord, U.S. Dist. Ct., Eastern Dist. Calif., #CIV S-93-0616-LKK/JFM (1996). Walker v. Superior Court, 763 P.2d 852 (Cal. 1988), holding that there is no due process violation, remains the law for defendants who withhold necessary medical care from children after 1988.


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

Assembly Bill 2237

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

ASSEMBLY BILL No. 2237

Introduced by Assembly Member Grove

February 21, 2014

An act relating to civil rights.

Legislative Counsel’s Digest

AB 2237, as introduced, Grove. Unruh Civil Rights Act: exception: religion.

The Unruh Civil Rights Act provides that all persons within the state are free and equal, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide an exception to the Unruh Civil Rights Act to protect the free exercise of religion.

Digest Key

Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: no Local Program: no

Bill Text The People of the State of California Do Enact as Follows:

SECTION 1. It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to provide an exception to the Unruh Civil Rights Act to protect the free exercise of religion.

O’CONNOR INVITED SUPPORTERS TO SEND AN EMAIL OR A FAX TO GROVE REGARDING AB 2237, AND READERS CAN DO SO BY CLICKING HERE.