Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - California
Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records
Citation: Penal Code § 11170; Pol. & Proc. Man. § 31-021
Any person may determine if he or she is listed in the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) by making a request in writing to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The request shall be notarized and include the person's name, address, date of birth, and either a Social Security number or a California identification number.
Upon receipt of a notarized request, the DOJ shall make available to the requesting person information identifying the date of the report and the submitting agency. The requesting person is responsible for obtaining the investigative report from the submitting agency pursuant to § 11167.5(b)(11).
In policy: Within 5 business days of submitting a person's name to the DOJ for listing on the CACI, notice of that listing must be sent to the person at his or her last known address.
A person who wishes to schedule a grievance hearing must submit a written request to the county within 30 calendar days of the date of notice. Failure to submit the request within the prescribed timeframe shall constitute a waiver of the right to a grievance hearing.
A grievance hearing request shall be denied when a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the suspected child abuse and/or severe neglect has occurred or when the allegation of child abuse or severe neglect is pending before the court. If this no longer applies, the person can submit the written request within 30 calendar days of the conclusion of the court case to request a grievance hearing.
The grievance hearing shall be scheduled within 10 business days and held no later than 60 calendar days from the date the request for grievance is received by the county.
The county may resolve a grievance at any point by changing a finding of substantiated child abuse and/or severe neglect to a finding that is not substantiated and notifying the DOJ of the need to remove the individual's name from the CACI.
The grievance review officer conducting the grievance hearing shall be a staff member or other person not directly involved in the decision, the investigation, or finding that is the subject of the hearing. The grievance hearing shall, to the extent possible, be conducted in a nonadversarial environment.
The county and the person shall be permitted to examine all records and evidence related to the county's investigative activities and investigative findings associated with the original referral that prompted the CACI listing, except for information that is otherwise made confidential by law.
The county shall first present its evidence supporting its action or findings that are the subject of the grievance. The person will then provide evidence supporting his or her claim that the county's decision should be withdrawn or changed. The county shall then be allowed to present rebuttal evidence in further support of its finding. Thereafter, the grievance review officer may, at his or her discretion, allow the parties to submit any additional evidence as may be warranted to fully evaluate the matter under review.
The grievance review officer shall make a determination based upon the evidence presented at the hearing as to whether the allegation of child abuse and/or severe neglect is substantiated as defined by the Penal Code § 11165.12.
The grievance review officer shall render a written recommended decision within 30 calendar days of the completion of the hearing. The decision shall contain a summary statement of facts, the issues involved, findings, and the basis for the decision.
The county director shall issue a final written decision adopting, rejecting, or modifying the recommended decision within 10 business days after the recommended decision is rendered. The final written decision shall explain why a recommended decision was rejected or modified by the county director.
When Records Must Be Expunged
Citation: Penal Code § 11170
If a person listed in the CACI was under age 18 at the time of the report, the information shall be deleted from the index 10 years from the date of the incident resulting in the index listing, if no subsequent report concerning the same person is received during that time period.
Information from an inconclusive or unsubstantiated report shall be deleted from the index after 10 years if no subsequent report concerning the same suspected child abuser is received within that time. If a subsequent report is received within that 10-year period, information from any prior report, as well as any subsequently filed report, shall be maintained in the index for a period of 10 years from the time the most recent report is received by the DOJ.
If a person is listed in the index only as a victim of child abuse or neglect, and that person is age 18 or older, that person may have his or her name removed from the index by making a written request to the DOJ. The request shall be notarized and include the person's name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.