Welcome back, and thanks for joining us for the wrap up of this discussion on the ridiculous amount of power given to CPS by the Central Registry. As we’ve already discussed in previous articles, Michigan’s central registry is worse than the sex offender registry in some ways, and if your name gets put on the list you do have rights! Moving on, we’re going to wrap this up with a quick look at what you should do after your name gets added to the list.
CPS has to tell you when you get put on the list!
According to Michigan law, while CPS is not required to prove in a court of law that someone is guilty of abuse before putting their name on the list, they are required to notify you via certified mail that your name has been added. This is actually a relatively recent addition to the law, as initially CPS didn’t even have to tell people that their names had been added to a list of suspected (but not formally accused or convicted) child abusers!
So what should you do once you get that letter?
Your very first reaction should be to call your attorney! The sooner you sit down with an experienced CPS defense attorney and discuss your situation, the sooner they’ll be able to start working on your defense. Once you’ve notified your attorney, and met with them to discuss your case, they will draft a response letter to the DHHS director in the county where the abuse or neglect investigation was conducted.
What if you don’t have a lawyer?
As attorneys who’ve spent decades dealing with CPS, our only answer to that question is “Hire one quickly!” Because we know how hard it can be to take on the state when it comes to your kids and your reputation. If you haven’t hired an attorney, you’ll need to write the letter yourself. However, be sure to write it within 180 days, as that’s the cut off! State clearly in the letter that you DO NOT agree with the conclusions CPS has made about you, and that you want your name removed from the list.
Will CPS take my name off the list if I ask them to?
There is a chance that this’ll be all you’ll have to do, and your name will simply be removed from the list with no more fuss. However, that’s unlikely. More often than not, DHHS will deny your request, and will schedule an administrative hearing instead. If you receive a letter from DHHS stating that an administrative hearing has been scheduled for you, it will also tell you the date, time and location of the hearing. Make sure you show up to the hearing with your attorney, as this is where you’ll have a chance to contest their allegations and defend yourself!
What happens at the administrative hearing?
If you and your attorney fight the allegations, but the administrative Judge presiding over the hearing sides with CPS, your appeal will be denied. If your appeal is denied, and the alleged abuse falls into either of the CPS categories I or II (which are considered severe) your name will stay on the Central Registry for a full 10 years! If the alleged abuse involved certain types of serious harm to the child, including severe physical injury or sexual assault, your name will be kept on the list for the rest of your life.
You’re going to need the best help available to fight this!
At the Kronzek Firm, our skilled CPS attorneys have spent years defending parents and caregivers against the bullying tactics employed by CPS agents. In pursuit of protection for children, many CPS workers sometimes railroad parents and spread misinformation that can damage people’s futures. So if you have been accused of abuse or neglect, call us today at 866-346-5879. We are here to help you.