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South Carolina

June 16, 2004

House Bill 3138: Mandatory Reporting Expanded to Clergy

Author:
Rep. James Smith, Jr. (D-72)

Summary:
This bill would have added members of the clergy to those who are required to report child abuse or neglect when such information is received in the "person's professional capacity." The communication privilege between a clergy member and penitent is preserved for "any confidential communication properly entrusted to [the clergy member] in his professional capacity and necessary and proper to enable him to discharge the functions of his office according to the usual course of practice or discipline of his church or religious body." This bill would have created confusion about when a member of the clergy is required to report information of abuse or neglect. HSLDA opposed any effort to weaken the clergy-penitent privilege, because it discourages people from seeking spiritual help for their problems. This bill is essentially the same as House Bill 3199.

Status:
This bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.

06/03/2004This bill died when the Legislature adjourned

Requested Action:
None at this time.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill should be opposed.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History