Thanks for joining us again for this discussion on Michigan’s Central Registry, also known as the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry. In the previous article we discussed what the registry is, and talked about some of the more controversial aspects, like the fact that the list exists to “convict” people of abuse and neglect without due process. Moving forward, we would like to explain to you exactly how the process works, and what’s involved.
One of the things we talked about in the last article is the fact that CPS is not required to prove in a court of law that someone is guilty of abuse before adding their name to the list. What they are required to prove is that a preponderance of the evidence is true. A ‘preponderance of the evidence’ means that they must show that the facts needed to prove guilt are ‘more than likely’ true. This is the same level of evidence required in most civil (non-criminal) lawsuits. In an actual court of law, a preponderance of the evidence would not be sufficient evidence to convict someone of a crime.
Every time a person’s name is added to the registry, there is a specific set of details included. The following is a list of the information that is included with each entry:
- The names and birthdates of the people who are accused of abusing or neglecting a child
- The names and birthdates of the children who were allegedly abused or neglected
- The names of any other adults or children who were in the home with the allegedly abused or neglected child, but were not involved in the allegations.
- The type of abuse or neglect that is claimed to have taken place
- The date of the alleged incident
- The county in which the alleged incident happened
Once a CPS worker has added your name to the list, the law requires that they notify you. The notification comes in the form of a certified letter, which includes basic information about the case that led CPS to determine that you were a potential threat to a child. It also informs you of the following three pieces of information:
- The fact that you have the right to review the case record
- Who can view your name on the Central Registry
- What you need to do, if you disagree with your name being listed on the Central Registry
It is important to note that a CPS investigation can sometimes lead to a court petition being filed. This is where CPS seeks to remove children from their parents or caregivers, either temporarily or permanently. However, in the event that the state dismisses CPS’s petition, or if the case is prosecuted in a court before a Judge and jury and is determined to be unfounded, the accused person’s name will be removed from the list.
Join us next time, when we will be talking about what you can do to get your name removed from the list. Until then, please remember that if you have received a letter from CPS informing you that your name has been placed on the Abuse and Neglect Registry, you should contact a CPS Defense Attorney immediately. You cannot wait and hope that this will go away on it’s own, because it won’t!
At the Kronzek Firm, our skilled attorneys have spent years defending parents and families against the bullying and invasive tactics employed by CPS. In their zealous quest for an abuse-free state, many CPS workers railroad parents and spread lies and misinformation that damage people’s futures. Call us today at 866-346-5879. We are here to help you.