2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 30 - HANDICAPPED PERSONS
CHAPTER 5 - PROTECTION OF DISABLED ADULTS AND ELDER PERSONS
§ 30-5-4 - Reporting of need for protective services; manner and contents of report; immunity from civil or criminal liability

O.C.G.A. 30-5-4 (2010)
30-5-4. Reporting of need for protective services; manner and contents of report; immunity from civil or criminal liability


(a)(1)(A) Any physician, osteopath, intern, resident, other hospital or medical personnel, dentist, psychologist, chiropractor, podiatrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, licensed professional counselor, nursing personnel, social work personnel, day-care personnel, coroner, medical examiner, employee of a public or private agency engaged in professional health related services to elder persons or disabled adults, or law enforcement personnel having reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult or elder person has had a physical injury or injuries inflicted upon such disabled adult or elder person, other than by accidental means, or has been neglected or exploited shall report or cause reports to be made in accordance with the provisions of this Code section.

(B) Except as provided in this paragraph, any employee of a financial institution, as defined in Code Section 7-1-4, having reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult or elder person has been exploited shall report or cause reports to be made in accordance with the provisions of this Code section; provided, however, that this obligation shall not apply to any employee of a financial institution while that employee is acting as a fiduciary, as defined in Code Section 7-1-4, but only for such assets that the employee is holding or managing in a fiduciary capacity.

(C) When the person having a reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services performs services as a member of the staff of a hospital, social agency, financial institution, or similar facility, such person shall notify the person in charge of the facility and such person or that person's designee shall report or cause reports to be made in accordance with the provisions of this Code section.

(2) Any other person having a reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services, or has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation may report such information as provided in this Code section.
(b)(1) A report that a disabled adult or elder person who is not a resident of a long-term care facility as defined in Code Section 31-8-80 is in need of protective services or has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall be made to an adult protection agency providing protective services, as designated by the department or, if such agency is unavailable, to an appropriate law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney. If a report of a disabled adult or elder person abuse is made to an adult protection agency or independently discovered by the agency and the agency has reasonable cause to believe such report is true, then the agency shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney. If the disabled adult or elder person is a resident of a long-term care facility as defined in Code Section 31-8-80, a report shall be made in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31. If a report made in accordance with the provisions of this Code section alleges that the abuse or exploitation occurred within a long-term care facility, such report shall be investigated in accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31.

(2) The report may be made by oral or written communication. The report shall include the name and address of the disabled adult or elder person and should include the name and address of the disabled adult's or elder person's caretaker, the age of the disabled adult or elder person, the nature and extent of the disabled adult's or elder person's injury or condition resulting from abuse, exploitation, or neglect, and other pertinent information. All such reports prepared by a law enforcement agency shall be forwarded to the director within 24 hours.

(c) Anyone who makes a report pursuant to this chapter, who testifies in any judicial proceeding arising from the report, who provides protective services, or who participates in a required investigation under the provisions of this chapter shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability on account of such report or testimony or participation, unless such person acted in bad faith, with a malicious purpose, or was a party to such crime or fraud. Any financial institution, as defined in Code Section 7-1-4, including without limitation officers and directors thereof, that is an employer of anyone who makes a report pursuant to this chapter in his or her capacity as an employee, or who testifies in any judicial proceeding arising from a report made in his or her capacity as an employee, or who participates in a required investigation under the provisions of this chapter in his or her capacity as an employee, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability on account of such report or testimony or participation of its employee, unless such financial institution knew or should have known that the employee acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose and failed to take reasonable and available measures to prevent such employee from acting in bad faith or with a malicious purpose. The immunity described in this subsection shall apply not only with respect to the acts of making a report, testifying in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, providing protective services, or participating in a required investigation but also shall apply with respect to the content of the information communicated in such acts.

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