Should You Admit Neglect
Family law is a complicated thing. Whether you’re dealing with things like cases of neglect, or you’re simply taking part in divorce mediation to discuss child custody and parenting time, there are a lot of points to consider. One issue that Mr. Shapiro has dealt with when supporting clients in the past, is striving to make the right decisions when challenging an indicated finding of neglect or abuse.
When complaints are made to Child Protective Services, or the Administration of Child Services, depending on the jurisdiction of the case, a complicated process starts. The agency usually has up to 60 days to indicate that the case is unfounded, or “indicated” (founded). In this process, there’s a very low standard, known as some credible evidence, applied in the initial determination of whether a case is founded. This means that cases that are very minor or have little evidence can still be indicated, at least initially, despite the small or low amount of evidence.
Unfortunately, if you or a loved one is indicated, then this can cause serious problems for your current work life, particularly if you have a job that puts you in contact with children. Fortunately, family law attorneys like Darren Shapiro have 90 days to work with a client to request that the case be amended and classed as “unfounded”. It’s also possible to ask that the case be found to be not relevant and reasonably related to employment and licensure for working with children.Challenging an Indication of Neglect in Family Law
The process of challenging an indicated finding is separate to the proceedings that are brought into family court for cases of neglect and abuse. If someone decides that they want to challenge the indication, Mr Shapiro can begin by writing a letter to the appropriate agency for the client. He will request copies of incident reports and ask for the case to be amended to unfounded, or unrelated to the employment or licensure of his client. This triggers n Albany-based administrative review into the report made by the local ACS or CPS worker, and any information submitted for the case.
When working on indicated cases, Mr Shapiro will always strive to gather information on that case as quickly as possible – even before he sends his initial letter, depending on how long he has left before his clock expires. The quicker your attorney can act, the better for getting the package prepared to submit on time. If the case remains indicated, then it may even be possible to request that the case be deemed not relevant to employment. Mr Shapiro can work with you to gather information on the seriousness of the incident, the rehabilitation of you, the applicant, the effect on any children, any evidence of past incidents, and more. It’s even possible to use evidence in the form of a successful history working with children, or character letters from other people.
As the administrative review proceeds, the agency will examine whether there is enough evidence in place to continue with the case as indicated. If the challenge at this stage isn’t successful, then it is possible to review a hearing in the county where the investigation began. Darren Shapiro can attend the hearing with his client and discuss the options available in getting cases blocked for licensure purposes, or employment needs but there is another opportunity to get it reversed at this local Fair Hearing.Defending the Livelihood of Clients
Mr Shapiro believes that it’s valuable to know the stance of the judge on certain hearings when you’re attempting to fight for the unfounded definition in your situation. If you aren’t successful in convincing the courts to move the case in your direction, then you need to ensure that your case isn’t going to affect your career. Some of Mr Shapiro’s clients even decide that they need to admit that a case should remain indicated. If this happens, then you can present the facts in court that help the court to determine that your case isn’t related to licensure and employment purposes.
Most judges allow a presentation on both fronts – meaning that clients can request for a case to be changed to unfounded, and request that it should be found unrelated to their work or licensure. However, there are times when a person may decide that they want to simply admit that the case should be left as indicated anyway. This could be the case if it seems obvious that the case will continue to be indicated anyway. Sometimes, it’s easier to just move forward, and attempt to avoid ugly testimonials about potential neglect or abuse. In some more obvious cases, clients acknowledging that their conduct was wrong can also highlight that they are improving their character and ensuring similar issues don’t happen again in the future. This can help in having it potentially be blocked for employment and licensure purposes.
There are also cases where people who haven’t made the right decision about how to care for a child, but was not necessarily abusive or neglectful, won’t necessarily be guilty of abuse or neglect. When this is the case, then sometimes challenging the entire situation is the way to go. However, Mr Shapiro has seen times when certain judges will refuse to acknowledge that a case is not related to a person’s career if they are not successful in challenging the indication of the case. It is important to get to know your judge’s stance on this issue.
Whatever your situation might be, feel free to contact Mr Darren Shapiro at your earliest convenience to determine your next step. Your first half-hour with us will be free.