Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Alabama

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Admin. Code r. 660-5-34-.08

All persons allegedly responsible for abuse/neglect with substantiated (i.e., indicated) dispositions must be given an opportunity to disagree with the findings of the Department of Human Resources through either a hearing or an administrative record review.

Any person who is approved, licensed, or certified to care for children or is an employee or volunteer for any licensed facility that cares for children must be offered a hearing when they have been identified as the person allegedly responsible for abuse/neglect and the preliminary disposition is 'indicated.' These individuals must be offered a hearing even if they were reported to have abused or neglected their own children.

A child abuse/neglect hearing is an internal investigatory hearing that is fact finding in nature and designed to elicit the facts in an atmosphere that allows the person responsible for the abuse/neglect to contest the evidence presented against him or her. The department shall conduct a hearing to determine by a preponderance of credible evidence that the child has been abused or neglected.

Any person allegedly responsible for abuse or neglect who has a preliminary indicated disposition and is not entitled to a hearing must be offered an administrative record review. The record review is completed to determine if the assessment contains sufficient documentation based on a preponderance of credible evidence to support the indicated disposition of child abuse/neglect.

Administrative record reviews are conducted by departmental staff who are not involved with the case. Prior abuse/neglect reports involving the person allegedly responsible are considered during the record review process to assist in determining the disposition. The reviewers have the authority to overturn the dispositional finding of the worker and supervisor, and their decision is final.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-8

In the case of any child abuse or neglect investigation that is determined to be 'not indicated,' the alleged perpetrator may request after 5 years from the completion of the investigation that his or her name be expunged from the central registry. As long as the Department of Human Resources has received no further reports concerning the alleged perpetrator during the 5 years since the completion of the investigation, the department shall expunge the name at that time.