Once CPS or ACS issues an “indicated” finding it is recommended that any indicated finding should be challenged at a Fair Hearing before the Office of Children and Family Services.
At a Fair Hearing the administrative law judge (ALJ) must determine the following:
- Whether there is a fair preponderance of the evidence that the individual committed the maltreatment alleged in the report
- If so, whether such maltreatment is currently relevant and reasonably related to employment by a child care agency, to the adoption of a child or to the provision of foster care.
It is very important to have an attorney represent your interests at a Fair Hearing as this can be a difficult process. Call our CPS lawyers today for a free consultation. We have experience representing clients both during a CPS investigation and after and indicated finding at the Fair Hearing. It is always recommended that you aggressively protect your rights.
Recent Success at a Fair Hearing in White Plains, NY
In a recent matter the attorneys at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP successfully defended a mother who had an indicated finding against her that resulted in the CPS report’s amendment to unfounded and the subsequent sealing of the entire report.
The mother was pregnant and had a history of substance abuse. Late in her pregnancy and after the child’s birth both the mother and the child tested positive for illegal drugs. The child had withdrawal symptoms and the hospital reported these finding the CPS.
This resulted in an indicated finding.
At the Fair Hearing our CPS lawyers argued that the mother was treated unfairly by CPS based upon her past drug use. In addition, other than the recent positive drug tests late in the pregnancy the mother has been free from any substance abuse for almost a year. Finally, our last argument focused on the unidentifiable harm to the child after birth.
The ALJ agreed with the defense and found that the mother had not committed maltreatment or abuse against her child. Following our arguments and logic set for at the Fair Hearing, the report was amended to unfounded and sealed.
How to Win a Fair Hearing
As CPS defense attorneys we regularly represent client in all OCFS cases. The key strategy to the defense is proper investigation and preparation by the defense attorney.
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP we take the time to properly prepare your case including speaking to witnesses, the county attorney and immediately argue on your behalf at every court appearance.
If you want to fight an indicated finding at a fair hearing call our offices for a free initial consultation (914) 946-4808. Our offices are located in downtown White Plains and we appear at all DSS/OCFS offices in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties.