Litigants frustrated with Children in Court litigation often want to appeal an adverse ruling of a trial court. An appeal is not a magic cure. It is always an uphill battle. A review of the most recent statistics on appeals demonstrates just what the likelihood of success on appeal for the average litigant. The statistics also tell a story about your likelihood of success where your adversary is the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
In this second part of our series on the DCPP Central Registry, we examine the permitted uses of the Registry. Under New Jersey law, DCPP must guard all information about abuse or neglect with their livelihoods. The law protects the confidentiality of DCPP-related information. DCPP may only release this privileged information in response to a formal request and only in response to very specific types of requests.
On April 1, 2013, new rules governing DCPP investigation findings became effective. In an effort to cure what ailed the Central Registry, DCPP created a new four-tiered menu of possible findings. The new findings apply to allegations of neglect or abuse that occur after April 1, 2013. They replace the old three-tiered system. This comment is the first of a series from Howes & Howes explaining the new rules.
As a parent, one of the most shocking letters you can receive is a letter from DYFS advising you that DYFS has investigated you and found that you have committed child abuse or child neglect. A finding of abuse or neglect lands a parent in the DYFS Central Registry, a stigma you dont need. If you receive a substantiation letter, there is a meaningful legal process to protect you. And when you need counsel in the process, Howes & Howes is prepared to represent you.
Child protective litigation involving D.Y.F.S. both confuses and frustrates parents caught in D.Y.F.S.’s dragnet. The early part of the process seems hurried and incomplete. Early hearings are ususally performed in a summary manner, that leaves out details that the parent believes are important. Parents are entitled to a more in-depth hearing called a Fact-Finding Hearing. This article provides a primer on the basics of the Fact-Finding Hearing.
One forgotten concept in DYFS work is that DYFS workers represent a government of limited powers. DYFS workers are not taught that the constitution applies to them, but it does indeed apply to them. If a DYFS worker comes into your home and tells you to jump, you do not need to ask “how high”. Your best course of action is usually to consult an experienced attorney for advice on how to protect your family’s privacy.
Howes & Howes accepts referrals in all 21 New Jersey counties to represent parents who have been sued by D.Y.F.S.. Ultimately the success of your case will depend on the unique facts of your case, and success in your case can not be judged from past results. However, it does pay to have an attorney experienced in D.Y.F.S. cases. Over the past ten years, we have enjoyed success representing parents. Some of our success stories are digested in this article. (References that might identify the client have been removed.)
When DYFS removes a child from its home in New Jersey, the law requires litigation to protect the rights of the parent and of the child. There are several steps in child welfare litigation, all of which are mandated by New Jersey law. The following is an outline of the steps in child welfare litigation. Howes & Howes has extensive experience in child welfare litigation. If you have a question, then you should contact our office.
New Jersey residents who never dreamed that they could be the subject of D.Y.F.S. supervision or D.Y.F.S. litigation are increasingly finding themselves under D.Y.F.S.’s watchful eye. When D.Y.F.S. sets its sights on your family, you need a N.J. attorney who has extensive experience in D.Y.F.S. matters.