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New Mexico high court says all must report child abuse, counseling sessions aren't shielded

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SANTA FE, New Mexico — The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that all residents are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

The ruling issued Monday reverses a 2013 decision by the state Court of Appeals that limited who was required to report abuse and neglect allegations. That previous ruling prompted a proposal being considered by state lawmakers that would require all persons to report suspected abuse and neglect.

According to the high court's ruling, state law reporting requirement applies to both privately and publicly employed social workers and statements made during counseling sessions aren't protected from disclosure in court.

The ruling stems from the case of a man accused of sexually abusing his minor daughter. He had private counseling sessions with a licensed social worker in private practice.

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