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Michigan Adult Abuse Reporting Requirements

13th July 2010
By LJB Law Office in Family Law
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Every state has some form of law that deals with reporting abuse. In Michigan, that law can be found at MCL 400.11a. While it may seem strange, the first thing that must be mentioned is what constitutes an adult. For purposes of this law, the term adult means "a vulnerable person not less than 18 years of age who is suspected of being or believed to be abused, neglected, or exploited." The term vulnerable means "a condition in which an adult is unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, or exploitation because of a mental or physical impairment or because of advanced age." The terms abuse, neglect, or exploitation are pretty close to what you probably think they mean. But if you want the exact definitions, you can read them here.

In Michigan, there are certain classes of people who are required to report the suspected abuse of an adult:

* Health care providers and providers of other human services such as educational and social services;
* Employees of an agency licensed to provide health care or other human services such as educational and social services;

* Law enforcement officers; and
* Employees of the office of the county medical examiner.

If any of these people suspect the abuse of an adult, they are required to report it immediately to their county department of social services. Reports made by physicians do not violate any doctor-patient privilege.

In addition to those who must report suspected abuse, anyone may make a report by calling the county department of social services. When making a report, the person reporting must include the name of the adult and the type of abuse. The report must also, if possible, include:

* The adult's age;
* The names and addresses of the adult's guardian or next of kin;
* The names of the people the adult lives with and their relationship; and
* Any other information that could help determine the cause of abuse.

A person reporting an incident initially makes the report orally, and the county department is then required to make a written record of the report. If the county department believes there is criminal activity, it must report that activity to the police.

For a listing of the Michigan Department of Human Services contact information, click here.

This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice or as creating any attorney client privilege.

LJB Law Office
This article is free for republishing
About the Author
Occupation: Attorney
Larry J. Brown, Jr. is a Michigan Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney.
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