Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Reports and Investigations

Admissibility And Preservation Of Evidence

41-3-204. Admissibility and preservation of evidence. (1) In any proceeding resulting from a report made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or in any proceeding for which the report or its contents are sought to be introduced into evidence, the report or its contents or any other fact related to the report or to the condition of the child who is the subject of the report may not be excluded on the ground that the matter is or may be the subject of a privilege related to the examination or treatment of the child and granted in Title 26, chapter 1, part 8, except the attorney-client privilege granted by 26-1-803.

(2) A person or official required to report under 41-3-201 may take or cause to be taken photographs of the area of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of a report. The cost of photographs taken under this section must be paid by the department.

(3) When a person required to report under 41-3-201 finds visible evidence that a child has suffered abuse or neglect, the person shall include in the report either a written description or photographs of the evidence.

(4) A physician, either in the course of providing medical care to a minor or after consultation with child protective services, the county attorney, or a law enforcement officer, may require x-rays to be taken when, in the physician's professional opinion, there is a need for radiological evidence of suspected abuse or neglect. X-rays may be taken under this section without the permission of the parent or guardian. The cost of the x-rays ordered and taken under this section must be paid by the county child protective service agency.

(5) All written, photographic, or radiological evidence gathered under this section must be sent to the local affiliate of the department at the time that the written confirmation report is sent or as soon after the report is sent as is possible. The initial report and associated evidence must be handled in accordance with 41-3-202.

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 178, L. 1965; Sec. 10-905, R.C.M. 1947; redes. 10-1307 by Sec. 14, Ch. 328, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 10-1307; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 543, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 38, Ch. 609, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 146, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 189, Ch. 42, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 514, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 516, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 382, L. 2019.