Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Tennessee

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Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Admin. Regs. §§ 0250-07-09-.07; 0250-07-09-.11

Within 10 business days after the Department of Children's Services has closed the case and classified a person in a substantiated report as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect, the department shall notify the person of the classification. The notice shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

  • That the person has been classified as the perpetrator of abuse or neglect in a substantiated report
  • That the person may request a formal file review by the department within 20 business days of the date of the notice
  • That failure to submit a request for a formal file review within 20 business days, absent a showing of good cause, shall result in the classified report becoming final and the person shall waive any right to a formal file review

The department shall respond to a request for a formal file review within 10 business days by sending written notice of the person's obligations pursuant to a formal file review process. This additional notice shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  • That the person may submit additional written information on his or her behalf that must be received within 30 business days of the date of the notice
  • That if the information is not timely submitted, the formal file review shall proceed with the information in the file and the person's right to submit additional information shall be waived
  • That the formal file review shall be completed within 90 business days of the date of the notice

In conducting the formal file review, the commissioner's designee shall determine whether a preponderance of the evidence available to the reviewer, including any submission by the alleged perpetrator, supports substantiation.

If the commissioner's designee determines that a preponderance of evidence does not support substantiation, the report shall be reversed and it shall be classified as unsubstantiated. If the commissioner's designee determines that the proof in the report supports a different conclusion than that reached by the department, the report shall be modified and it shall be classified accordingly. The commissioner's designee shall notify the person of the outcome.

If the commissioner's designee determines that a preponderance of the evidence supports substantiation, the report shall be upheld and it shall be classified as substantiated. Within 10 business days of the date of completion of the formal file review, the department shall send to the person who was classified in a report of any form of abuse or neglect written notice containing at a minimum, the following:

  • That the person has been identified as the perpetrator of abuse or neglect in a substantiated report investigated by the department and, after conducting a formal file review, the 'substantiated' report was upheld
  • That the person may request a hearing within 20 business days of the date of the notice before an administrative law judge
  • That if the person fails to timely request a hearing absent good cause, he or she shall waive the right to an administrative hearing
  • That if the person fails to timely request a hearing absent good cause, the department will release its finding of abuse or neglect to any person or organization consistent with these rules

The sole issue for the administrative judge to determine is whether the preponderance of the evidence, in light of the entire record, proves that the individual committed any form of abuse or neglect. If the administrative judge concludes that a preponderance of the evidence does not support a conclusion that the individual committed the act of abuse or neglect, the report shall be classified as unsubstantiated.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Admin. Regs. § 0250-07-09-.11

If the administrative judge concludes that a preponderance of the evidence does not support a conclusion that the individual committed the act of abuse or neglect, or if a reviewing court reverses a departmental determination of abuse or neglect, the report shall be classified as unsubstantiated. The department shall not release information from its records identifying the individual as a perpetrator of any form of abuse or neglect.

Nothing in this rule shall be construed to require expunction of any information from internal case records maintained by the department.