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If accusations of child abuse or neglect are raised in Livingston, investigators with the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) are required to get involved. This department—formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)—exists to investigate claims of child abuse and prosecute them if necessary.
The outcome of an investigation can shake a family to its core. Following a finding of abuse or neglect, DCPP has the power to place a child in foster care. Thankfully, as a parent, you have the right to reexamine the decisions made by DCPP. Let our experienced DCPP/DYFS attorneys advise you on DCPP/DYFS appeals in Livingston.
It is possible to reconsider a trial court’s decision in a case like this. A person who disagrees with the outcome of their case at the trial court level is entitled to seek an appeal through the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division.
The decision made in these cases plays a part in determining the first steps for an re-examination. A person facing a finding that the allegations of child abuse are “substantiated” or “established” has 20 days to file a formal written notice of appeal. For individuals reexamining a finding of “not established,” they have 20 days to rebut this decision with the Division. If that “not established” finding is upheld by the Division, this time limit is extended to 45 days for a person to formally appeal that decision to the Appellate Division.
A skilled DYFS/DCPP attorney in Livingston could help someone file an appeal if they have been accused of abusing a minor.
The initial court could get DCPP decisions wrong because facts could be missed and New Jersey laws could be misapplied. No matter what the basis of the appeal is, it is important to remember that the right to reconsider these cases exists. A Livingston attorney familiar with the Department of Child Protection and Permanency could ensure an accused person’s rights are not forgotten.
A bad outcome in these cases could have lifelong consequences, chief among them is the removal of a child from the home. Placing a child into foster care is a worst-case scenario, and a parent could also find themselves placed on the Child Abuse Central Registry. A person on this registry could find it difficult to maintain employment, among other consequences. An appeal gives a person an opportunity to avoid these hardships and move forward with their life.
It is not uncommon for people to reconsider unfavorable outcomes in their DCPP cases. However, it could also be in their best interest to appeal a resolution that might be considered a “win” to some people.
If DCPP investigates a claim and concludes the accusations did not occur, the investigators will issue a finding of “unfounded.” This is the best possible outcome for these cases. If the investigators cannot establish evidence that the allegations are unfounded but also cannot prove they occurred, an outcome of “not established” is used.
A finding of “not established” might seem like a win, but it could still have negative consequences. This finding means the investigators determined the child was injured or put at risk of harm, and this is an outcome that could have repercussions outside of the legal system. Reexamining this finding to obtain clarity or even have the outcome converted to “unfounded” might be the best option in some cases.
A well-versed attorney in Livingston could help someone understand what the court’s ruling means and how reexamining it could benefit them.
Every stage of your DCPP case is important, including the appeal. Even if your case does not go the way you wanted at trial, you have a second chance to get the fair outcome you deserve.
The reconsideration process is your last chance to protect your family and restore your good name. Contact our dedicated attorneys about DCPP/DYFS appeals in Livingston today.