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Here Are The Mandatory Reporting Laws In Montana



(1) Does the state require everyone to report child abuse, including sex abuse?  No.

(2) Does the law require coaches to report child abuse? In most cases, no. The law is silent as to volunteer coaches outside the school setting. Within the school setting, teachers, officials, and other employees of a school must report, but only if they work during “regular school hours.” Coaches who work after school hours are arguably exempt. A coach who is a school employee who works during “regular school hours” would be required to report. The law is silent as to the definition as to whether a college or university is a “school.”

(3) Does the law require college staff to report child abuse? Probably not. Though school employees and officials are required to report abuse if they work during “regular school hours,” the law is silent as to whether a university or college qualifies as a “school.” Arguably, “schools” are not the same as colleges or universities.

(4) Does the law allow jail time for those who fail to properly report abuse? Yes, the penalty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

Notes:  Montana law also expressly allows for civil damages against a mandatory reporter who fails to report.

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Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."