Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Texas

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Family Code § 261.309

The executive commissioner shall by rule establish policies and procedures to resolve complaints relating to and conduct reviews of child abuse or neglect investigations conducted by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

If a person under investigation for allegedly abusing or neglecting a child requests clarification of the status of the person's case or files a complaint relating to the conduct of the department's staff or to department policy, the department shall conduct an informal review to clarify the person's status or resolve the complaint. The division of the department responsible for investigating complaints shall conduct the informal review as soon as possible but no later than the 14th day after the date the request or complaint is received.

If, after the department's investigation, the person who is alleged to have abused or neglected a child disputes the department's determination of whether child abuse or neglect occurred, the person may request an administrative review of the findings. A department employee in administration who was not involved in or did not directly supervise the investigation shall conduct the review. The review must sustain, alter, or reverse the department's original findings in the investigation.

The department employee shall conduct the review as soon as possible but no later than the 45th day after the date the department receives the request, unless the department has good cause for extending the deadline. If a civil or criminal court proceeding or an ongoing criminal investigation relating to the alleged abuse or neglect investigated by the department is pending, the department may postpone the review until the court proceeding is completed.

A person is not required to exhaust the remedies provided by this section before pursuing a judicial remedy provided by law.

This section does not provide for a review of an order rendered by a court.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Family Code §§ 261.002; 261.315

The executive commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to carry out this section. The rules shall require the department to remove a person's name from the central registry maintained no later than the 10th business day after the date the department receives notice that a finding of abuse and neglect against the person is overturned in any of the following:

  • An administrative review or an appeal of the review conducted under § 261.309(c)
  • A review or an appeal of the review conducted by the Office of Consumer Affairs of the department
  • A hearing or an appeal conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings

At the conclusion of an investigation in which the department determines that the person alleged to have abused or neglected a child did not commit abuse or neglect, the department shall notify the person of the person's right to request the department to remove information about the person's alleged role in the abuse or neglect report from the department's records.

On request by a person whom the department has determined did not commit abuse or neglect, the department shall remove information from the department's records concerning the person's alleged role in the abuse or neglect report.

The executive commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to administer this section.