Michigan’s Central Registry, also known as the “child abuser registry” is a classic example of the terrifying and seemingly limitless power that CPS is sometimes granted by the state. The fact that they can simply decide that you’re a neglect or abusive parent or caregiver, and then label you as such without ever having to prove their claims is beyond scary! And it’s all legal! Not sure what we mean? Check this out…
So what is the Central Registry anyway?
The Central Registry in Michigan is a database kept by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of all parents, caregivers and individuals who are suspected of being abusive or neglectful of children . It’s not available to the public, and cannot be publicly searched. In fact, the registry can only be viewed only by the agency, state officials and employers, law enforcement, and specific individuals who have received permission from DHHS. But that doesn’t mean the people whose names are on it don’t have their lives affected in very real, and often very awful ways!
How does your name get put on the Registry?
If a CPS worker investigates you or your family, and decided that you are likely abusing or neglecting a child, they can get permission from a supervisor to add your name to the list. If there is any concern that a child in your care has been neglected or abused in any way (which could mean a whole range of things depending on which person at the agency you ask, they’re within their rights to add your name to the Registry.
How do you find out if your name is on the Registry or not?
Before 2014, a CPS worker could add a person’s name to the list without having to inform them. People could be denied jobs and labelled an “abuser” during interactions with law enforcement, without ever having a clue why! Thankfully that changed when the law was altered in 2014, and CPS is now required to notify you via registered or certified mail when they’ve added your name to the list! After that, you’ve got a six month period of time in which to request a removal.
What can you do if your name gets put on the list?
If you’ve been labeled an “abuser” by CPS, you’ll have to fight to have that label removed. Meanwhile, until you’re able to prove your innocence, you’re at risk. Under the new law, it’s now easier to have your name removed from the list if the individual can prove there was insufficient evidence for CPS to accuse them of abuse or neglect. But proving that you’re innocent is easier said than done!
If your name is on the registry, you’re going to need a good attorney!
Join us next time, when we will be looking at what type of information the list contains, and how to get your name removed! Until then, if you’ve discovered that your name is on the Michigan Central Registry, and you feel that you’ve been unfairly accused without a chance to defend yourself, contact us at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled and experienced CPS defense attorneys can help you stand up against CPS, and achieve the best possible outcome for your family’s future.