Anyone reporting any incident of child abuse or neglect as required by law is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed unless the person was grossly negligent, acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose, or provided information knowing the information to be false.
If the family court determines that a person has made a report of suspected child abuse or neglect maliciously or in bad faith or if a person has been found guilty of making a false report pursuant to § 63-7-440, the Department of Social Services may bring a civil action to recover the costs of the department's investigation and proceedings associated with the investigation, including attorney's fees. The department also is entitled to recover costs and attorney's fees incurred in the civil action authorized by this section. The decision of whether to bring a civil action is in the sole discretion of the department. If the family court determines that a person has made a false report of suspected child abuse or neglect maliciously or in bad faith or if a person has been found guilty of making a false report, a person who was subject of the false report has a civil cause of action against the person who made the false report and is entitled to recover from the person who made the false report such relief as may be appropriate, including actual damages, punitive damages, a reasonable attorney's fee, and other litigation costs reasonably incurred. It is unlawful to knowingly make a false report of abuse or neglect. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.
Any person who makes a report or allegation of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect knowing the report is false, or who reports or alleges the same in bad faith or with malice, shall be liable to the party or parties against whom the report was made for the amount of actual damages sustained or statutory damages of $2,500, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees and costs of suit. If the court finds that the defendant acted with malice or oppression, the court may award treble actual damages or treble statutory damages, whichever is greater.
All other statutes states knowingly and intentionally. These three states lower the standard to a bad faith report. These are the criminal liabilities that are taken into account.
The states of Arkansas, California,
Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota,
Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, do not provide immunity from civil liability for a false claim.
The states of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tenessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin along with the US territories of Washington DC American Samoa and Guam, provides civil immunity for people who assist in an investigation of child sexual abuse.