Sec. 261.302: Conduct of Investigation

(a) The investigation may include:

(1) a visit to the child's home, unless the alleged abuse or neglect can be confirmed or clearly ruled out without a home visit; and

(2) an interview with and examination of the subject child, which may include a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination.

(b) The interview with and examination of the child may:

(1) be conducted at any reasonable time and place, including the child's home or the child's school;

(2) include the presence of persons the department determines are necessary; and

(3) include transporting the child for purposes relating to the interview or investigation.

(b-1) Before the department may transport a child as provided by Subsection (b)(3), the department shall attempt to notify the parent or other person having custody of the child of the transport.

(c) The investigation may include an interview with the child's parents and an interview with and medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of any child in the home.

(d) If, before an investigation is completed, the investigating agency believes that the immediate removal of a child from the child's home is necessary to protect the child from further abuse or neglect, the investigating agency shall file a petition or take other action under Chapter 262 to provide for the temporary care and protection of the child.

(e) An interview with a child in which the allegations of the current investigation are discussed and that is conducted by the department during the investigation stage shall be audiotaped or videotaped unless:

(1) the recording equipment malfunctions and the malfunction is not the result of a failure to maintain the equipment or bring adequate supplies for the equipment;

(2) the child is unwilling to allow the interview to be recorded after the department makes a reasonable effort consistent with the child's age and development and the circumstances of the case to convince the child to allow the recording; or

(3) due to circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented by the department, the department does not have the necessary recording equipment because the department employee conducting the interview does not ordinarily conduct interviews.

(e-1) An interview with a child alleged to be a victim of physical abuse or sexual abuse conducted by an investigating agency other than the department shall be audiotaped or videotaped unless the investigating agency determines that good cause exists for not audiotaping or videotaping the interview in accordance with rules of the agency. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, such considerations as the age of the child and the nature and seriousness of the allegations under investigation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the investigating agency from audiotaping or videotaping an interview of a child on any case for which such audiotaping or videotaping is not required under this subsection. The fact that the investigating agency failed to audiotape or videotape an interview is admissible at the trial of the offense that is the subject of the interview.

(f) A person commits an offense if the person is notified of the time of the transport of a child by the department and the location from which the transport is initiated and the person is present at the location when the transport is initiated and attempts to interfere with the department's investigation. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor. It is an exception to the application of this subsection that the department requested the person to be present at the site of the transport.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 95, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 575, Sec. 13, 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 73, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 1.21, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.132, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 206), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2015.