For Michigan parents, one of the most frightening things about CPS is their seemingly unlimited and unquestioned power. No other government agency in this state has the authority to label you as a criminal and add your name to a statewide Registry without ever having to produce a shred of evidence against you. It’s a terrifying thought, but a sad reality, that the Michigan child abuser list is just a click away.
If a CPS worker has even so much as a concern that a child in your care has in any way been neglected or abused, which could mean a whole range of things depending upon which individual at the agency you ask, they are within their rights to add your name to the Michigan Central Registry.
This database of 275,000 names has caused people to lose jobs and for some, to be denied jobs that would have brought them into contact for children. That may have been understandable if the person in question was a convicted child abuser, but these are people who have never even been charged, let alone convicted, of a crime against a child.
Thankfully, last year finally saw some changes in the way this horrifying system is operated. Governor Snyder signed into law some of the changes that detractors have been frustrated about for years.
For example, it is now legally required that an individual whose name has been placed on the list receive a notification via registered or certified mail, with a return receipt. This means that no one can be placed on the list without their knowledge, and they have a six month period of time in which to request a removal.
It is also now easier to have a name removed from the list if the individual can prove that there was insufficient evidence for it to be there in the first place. Additionally, there is now a limit of 10 years on how long a name can remain on the registry, where before, they were there for life.
CPS has defended the registry, claiming that they are doing what they think is in the best interests of the child in every case, but many parents around the state have spoken out against it, claiming that they have been vilified by CPS and made to look like criminals without ever being given their constitutional right to defend themselves.
If you have discovered that your name is on the Michigan Central Registry, and you feel that you have been unfairly accused or labeled without a chance to defend yourself, contact us. We can help you figure out the best course of action to achieve the best possible outcome for your family’s future.