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Senate Bill 1106 — Child protection, parent rights

Senate Bill 1106 — Child protection, parent rights

Parrish Miller
February 17, 2023

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1106 would require Child Protective Services to notify, in writing, parents or caregivers of their rights if they are under investigation. 

Rating: +1

NOTE: Senate Bill 1106 is similar to Senate Bill 1050, introduced earlier this session. Compared to its predecessor, this bill removes the specific format of how notifications should be structured, changes references from "persons maintaining the custody and care of the child" to "persons having legal custody of the child," and makes a few other small changes. 

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

Senate Bill 1106 would create Section 16-1648, Idaho Code, titled "Notification of Rights," to say, "When the department, in accordance with this chapter, commences an investigation after having received information that a child may be abused, neglected, or abandoned and in the course of such investigation contacts, directly and in person, the parents, guardians, or any persons having legal custody of the child, then the department shall notify such parents, guardians, or persons that they have the right to:

  • Refuse to answer questions;
  • Consult with an attorney and have an attorney present during an investigation;
  • Refuse entry to their home or other real property; and
  • Refuse the questioning of any minor children in their home or on their property, unless there is an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing a particular entry or particular questioning or examination."

The bill further says the notification "shall be made in writing at the time of or within seventy-two (72) hours after the department makes the first contact directly and in person with the parents, guardians, or other persons having legal custody of the child."

The bill provides that "the parents, guardians, or other persons having legal custody of the child shall have standing to challenge a violation of the provisions of this section, and such parents, guardians, or persons shall be awarded costs and attorney's fees in accordance with section 12-117, Idaho Code."

It is of the utmost importance that government respects parental rights and that parents are fully informed about the scope of their rights. This bill will require CPS to notify parents of their rights, which some may not realize they have. 

This concept could be expanded by also requiring CPS to verbally inform parents of their rights at the outset of any official contact, similar to the Miranda warning provided by law enforcement. 


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