Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Indiana

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-33-26-8; 31-33-27-5

This section does not apply to substantiated reports if a court has determined that a child is a child in need of services based on the following:

  • A report of child abuse or neglect that names the perpetrator as the individual who committed the child abuse or neglect
  • Facts presented to the court at a hearing in a child-in-need-of-services case that are consistent with the facts and conclusions stated in the report, if the department approved the substantiated report after the court's determination

No later than 30 days after the Department of Children and Family Services enters a substantiated child abuse or neglect report into the index, the department shall notify the following:

  • The parent, guardian, or custodian of the child who is named in the report as the victim of the child abuse or neglect
  • Any person identified as the perpetrator, if other than the child's parent, guardian, or custodian

The department shall state the following in a notice to the perpetrator of a substantiated report:

  • The report has been classified as substantiated.
  • The perpetrator may request that a substantiated report be amended or expunged at an administrative hearing if the perpetrator does not agree with the classification of the report unless a court is in the process of making a determination.
  • The perpetrator's request for an administrative hearing to contest the classification of a substantiated report must be received by the department not more than 30 days after the notice is served.

If the perpetrator fails to request an administrative hearing within 30 days, the perpetrator named in a substantiated report may request an administrative hearing to contest the classification of the report if the perpetrator demonstrates that the failure to request an administrative hearing was due to excusable neglect or fraud. The Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure provide the standard for excusable neglect or fraud.

This section applies to information relating to substantiated reports in any records of the department. An individual identified as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect in a substantiated report may file a petition with a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction in the county in which the individual resides, requesting that the court order the department to expunge the substantiated report and related information.

The court shall hold a hearing on the petition and any response filed by the department, unless a hearing is waived by agreement of the parties.

In considering whether to grant a petition filed under this section, the court may review:

  • The factors listed in § 31-39-8-3 concerning the risk assessment in relation to the petitioner if the substantiated report was the subject of a juvenile court case
  • Any facts relating to the petitioner's current status, activities, employment, contacts with children, or other circumstances relevant to consideration of whether the petition should be granted

The court may grant the petition if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, both of the following:

  • There is little likelihood that the petitioner will be a future perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.
  • The information has insufficient current probative value to justify its retention in records of the department for future reference.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-33-26-14; 31-33-26-15; 31-33-27-3; 31-33-27-4

The department shall immediately amend or expunge from the index a substantiated report containing an inaccuracy arising from an administrative or a clerical error.

The department shall expunge a substantiated report contained within the index no later than 10 working days after any of the following occurs:

  • A court determines that child abuse or neglect has not occurred.
  • An administrative hearing officer finds that the child abuse or neglect report is unsubstantiated.
  • A court enters an order for expunction of the report under § 31-33-27-5.

The department shall amend a substantiated report in the index by deleting the name of an alleged perpetrator if the court or an administrative hearing officer finds that the person was not a perpetrator of the child abuse or neglect that occurred.

The department shall expunge child abuse or neglect information no later than 24 years after the date of birth of the youngest child named in the department's assessment report as an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect, if:

  • The department approved the assessment as unsubstantiated.
  • The court entered a final judgment based on a finding that child abuse or neglect did not occur.

The department may, upon the request of an interested person, expunge information relating to an unsubstantiated assessment of child abuse or neglect at any time if the department determines that the probative value of the information does not justify its retention in the records of the department.

The department shall amend information relating to a substantiated report by deleting the name of a person as an alleged perpetrator if a court having jurisdiction over a child in need of services proceeding or an administrative hearing officer finds that the person was not a perpetrator of the child abuse or neglect that occurred.