SB549 (2020) Detail

Relative to the rebuttable presumption of harm under the child protection act.










AN ACT relative to the rebuttable presumption of harm under the child protection act.


SPONSORS: Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Rep. Berrien, Rock. 18; Rep. Rice, Hills. 37; Rep. M. Pearson, Rock. 34


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill adds step-parent to the definition of parent under RSA 169-C.  The bill also establishes a rebuttable presumption of harm for purposes of determining neglect under the child protection act and directs the department of health and human services to provide training regarding the statute's application.


The bill is a request of the department of health and human services.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty


AN ACT relative to the rebuttable presumption of harm under the child protection act.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Child Protection Act; Definition of Parent.  Amend RSA 169-C:3, XXI to read as follows:

XXI.  "Parent" means mother, father, adoptive parent, step-parent, but such term shall not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntary relinquishment.  

2  New Section; Child Protection Act; Rebuttable Presumption of Harm.  Amend RSA 169-C by inserting after section 12-e the following new section:

169-C:12-f  Rebuttable Presumption of Harm.  There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a child's health has suffered or is likely to suffer serious impairment by exposure to any of the following conduct:

I.  Evidence of a parent, guardian, or custodian's substance misuse that is adversely affecting a child's care or supervision, when that parent, guardian, or custodian is not actively engaged in treatment;

II.  Evidence of a parent, guardian, or custodian's impaired driving or operating of a motor vehicle in violation of RSA 265-A:2 or RSA 265-A:3, while a minor is in the vehicle; or

III.  Evidence of a perpetrator parent, guardian, or custodian's exposure of a child to:

(a)  Physical violence directed at a household member; or

(b)  Pervasive emotionally abusive behavior, which shall include, but not be limited to, patterns of threatening, berating, or demeaning behavior, directed at the child or another household member.

3  Training.  Prior to January 1, 2021, the department of health and human services, division for children, youth, and families (DCYF), in partnership with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, shall provide training to DCYF child protection staff, Court Appointed Special Advocates, family court judges, and other system partners regarding the implementation of this act.

4  Effective Date.

I.  RSA 169-C:12-f, III, as inserted by section 2 of this act, shall take effect January 1, 2021.

II.  The remainder of the act shall take effect July 1, 2020.


SB549 at GenCourtMobile
SB549 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 18, 2020 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB549 Revision: 7745 Date: Dec. 24, 2019, 9:47 a.m.


Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 To Be Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1
Feb. 18, 2020 Hearing: 02/18/2020, Room 100, SH, 09:00 am; SC 7
June 16, 2020 Vacated from Committee and Laid on Table, MA, VV; 06/16/2020 SJ 8
June 16, 2020 No Pending Motion; 06/16/2020 SJ 8