Table 1

Variations in State Policies Related to the Duty to Warn or Protect

States with mandatory duty to warn or protect
    Codified in statuteArizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington
    Indicated in common lawAlabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin
States that permit breach of confidentiality in cases of threat*Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming
States with no statute/common law guidanceArkansas, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, and North Dakota
  • Created by the authors with data from Edwards5 and updated with the FindLaw database at

  • * States that permit a breach of confidentiality are distinct from those that mandate confidentiality be broken. Permissive states reject Tarasoff and do not place a legal obligation on therapists to issue a warning.