What is the CPRB, and what impact can it have on your case?
The Child Placement Review Board (CPRB) is a volunteer group that assesses abuse and neglect cases and provides recommendations for the court regarding what should be done for placement of your child. Each county has its own CPRB, and the board is supposed to review each case within 45 days of the child’s removal from the home.
Is mediation ever an option?
In some New Jersey counties, mediators – neutral third parties – may be available to help resolve issues, but only after a Fact Finding hearing has occurred. This way, you can avoid an aggravating and time consuming court process.
Will the legal process impact benefits that you get, such as welfare benefits?
Quite possibly. If you had been collecting welfare prior to the removal of your child, you will likely lose your benefits. If the child remains at home, your benefits may be reduced.
What is the OSCAR Program?
The Office of Parental Representation runs the Order to Show Cause Attorney Representation (OSCAR) program to make sure that an attorney represents each parent at the first hearing. This lawyer from OPR would be a provisional representative. You still must apply to be represented by the Public Defender’s Office.
What if you can’t afford an attorney?
The Office of Parental Representation (OPR) can assign an attorney to represent you, if you qualify, financially and otherwise.
Before you apply for an OPR attorney — or the court says that your income level qualifies you for this service — the attorney can start representing you. You need documents to prove your income and property. The court (not OPR) gets to decide whether you qualify for services. But buyer beware — saving money by agreeing to be represented by OPR may cost you precious contact with your child and perhaps more.
Are these legal services free?
No. After your case finishes, you will get a bill from the New Jersey Public Defender’s office, which will include fees for things like calling in extra witnesses and other costs of defending you in court. If you can’t pay right away, a lien can be placed on your bank account, your property, your automobile, etc. You have the right to challenge this lien or to make a case that you can’t pay for the services.
For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.