Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - South Carolina
Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-7-1410 through 63-7-1440
This article provides for a child protective services appeals process for reports that have been indicated and are not being brought before the family court for disposition and for reports indicated and entered in the central registry and not being brought before the family court for disposition. This process is available only to the person determined to have abused or neglected the child.
If a person requests an appeal and the family court has determined that the person is responsible for abuse or neglect of the child, an appeal is not available. If the family court reaches such a determination after the initiation of the appeal, the Department of Social Services shall terminate the appeal. If a proceeding is pending in the family court, the department shall stay the appeal pending the court's decision.
If the department determines that a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is indicated, or if the case was entered in the central registry and the department is not taking the case to the family court for disposition, the department shall provide notice of the case decision by certified mail to the person determined to have abused or neglected the child. The notice must inform the person of the right to appeal the case decision and that if he or she intends to appeal the decision, he or she must notify the department of this intent in writing within 30 days of receipt of the notice. If the person does not provide notice within 30 days, the right to appeal is waived by the person and the case decision becomes final. Within 14 days after receipt of a notice of intent to appeal, an appropriate official of the department must conduct an interim review of the case.
If the official conducting the interim review decides that the determination against the appellant is not supported by a preponderance of evidence, this decision must be reflected in the department's case record and database. If the person's name was in the central registry and the interim review results in a reversal of the decision that supports that entry, the person's name must be removed from the central registry.
The State director shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct a contested case hearing for each case decision appealed. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence that the appellant was responsible for abuse or neglect of the child.
After a contested case hearing, if the State director decides that the determination against the appellant is not supported by a preponderance of evidence, this decision must be reflected in the department's case record and database. If the person's name was in the central registry as a result of a determination and the State director reverses the decision that supports that entry, the person's name must be removed from the central registry. If the State director affirms the determination against the appellant, the appellant has the right to seek judicial review in the family court of the jurisdiction in which the case originated.
An appellant seeking judicial review shall file a petition in the family court within 30 days after the final decision of the department. The family court shall conduct a judicial review of the pleadings and a certified transcript of the record that must include the evidence upon which the findings and decisions appealed are based. The judgment must include a determination of whether the decision of the department that a preponderance of evidence shows that the appellant abused or neglected the child should be affirmed or reversed.
When Records Must Be Expunged
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-7-1950; 63-7-1960
If it is determined that a report is unfounded, the Department of Social Services must immediately purge information identifying that person as a perpetrator from the registry and from department records.
The names, addresses, birth dates, identifying characteristics, and other information unnecessary for auditing and statistical purposes of persons named in department records of indicated cases other than the central registry must be destroyed 7 years from the date services are terminated.