Injuries To Be Reported — C.R.S. 12-36-135

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Current law (November, 2002)

12-36-135 - Injuries to be reported - penalty for failure to report - immunity from liability.

(1) It shall be the duty of every licensee who attends or treats a bullet wound, a gunshot wound, a powder burn, or any other injury arising from the discharge of a firearm, or an injury caused by a knife, an ice pick, or any other sharp or pointed instrument that the licensee believes to have been intentionally inflicted upon a person, or any other injury that the licensee has reason to believe involves a criminal act, including injuries resulting from domestic violence, to report such injury at once to the police of the city, town, or city and county or the sheriff of the county in which the licensee is located. Any licensee who fails to make a report as required by this section commits a class 2 petty offense, as defined by section 18-1.3-503, C.R.S., and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(1.5) As used in subsection (1) of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Domestic violence" means an act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person or any municipal ordinance violation against a person when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

(b) "Intimate relationship" means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

(2) Any licensee who, in good faith, makes a report pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with respect to the making of such report, and shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

(3) Any licensee who makes a report pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall not be subject to the physician-patient relationship described in section 13-90-107 (1) (d), C.R.S., as to the medical examination and diagnosis. Such licensee may be examined as a witness, but not as to any statements made by the patient that are the subject matter of section 13-90-107 (1) (d), C.R.S.

 

Source: L. 79: Entire section added, p. 526, § 1, effective July 1. L. 95: (1) amended and (1.5) added, p. 1219, § 1, effective July 1; (3) added, p. 1249, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2001: (1), (2), and (3) amended, p. 184, § 15, effective August 8. L. 2002: (1) amended, p. 1479, § 77, effective October 1.

Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2002 act amending subsection (1), see section 1 of chapter 318, Session Laws of Colorado 2002.

Am. Jur.2d. See 61 Am. Jur.2d, Physicians, Surgeons, and Other Healers, § 136.

The plain, clarifying language of subsection (3) states that in cases where a physician has a duty to report an injury to the police, the physician-patient privilege is abrogated only with regard to testimony about the information received from the physician's observations of the patient, not regarding any statements the patient may have made to the physician. People v. Covington, 19 P.3d 15 (Colo. 2001).

Physician duty to report abrogates the physician-patient privilege established in § 13-90-107, and 1995 amendments to subsection (1) merely clarified that inherent within the reporting statute was an abrogation of the physician-patient privilege as it relates to the bare medical information the physician observed during the examination; otherwise, duty to report would have been rendered meaningless. People v. Covington, 19 P.3d 15 (Colo. 2001).

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Last modified 10/5/14