26.44.053  <<  26.44.056 >>   26.44.060

Protective detention or custody of abused childReasonable causeNoticeTime limitsMonitoring planLiability.

(1) An administrator of a hospital or similar institution or any physician, licensed pursuant to chapters 18.71 or 18.57 RCW, may detain a child without consent of a person legally responsible for the child whether or not medical treatment is required, if the circumstances or conditions of the child are such that the detaining individual has reasonable cause to believe that permitting the child to continue in his or her place of residence or in the care and custody of the parent, guardian, custodian or other person legally responsible for the child's care would present an imminent danger to that child's safety: PROVIDED, That such administrator or physician shall notify or cause to be notified the appropriate law enforcement agency or child protective services pursuant to RCW 26.44.040. Such notification shall be made as soon as possible and in no case longer than seventy-two hours. Such temporary protective custody by an administrator or doctor shall not be deemed an arrest. Child protective services may detain the child until the court assumes custody, but in no case longer than seventy-two hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
(2) Whenever an administrator or physician has reasonable cause to believe that a child would be in imminent danger if released to a parent, guardian, custodian, or other person or is in imminent danger if left in the custody of a parent, guardian, custodian, or other person, the administrator or physician may notify a law enforcement agency and the law enforcement agency shall take the child into custody or cause the child to be taken into custody. The law enforcement agency shall release the child to the custody of child protective services. Child protective services shall detain the child until the court assumes custody or upon a documented and substantiated record that in the professional judgment of the child protective services the child's safety will not be endangered if the child is returned. If the child is returned, the department shall establish a six-month plan to monitor and assure the continued safety of the child's life or health. The monitoring period may be extended for good cause.
(3) A child protective services employee, an administrator, doctor, or law enforcement officer shall not be held liable in any civil action for the decision for taking the child into custody, if done in good faith under this section.


Severability1982 c 129: See note following RCW 9A.04.080.
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