Richmond, KY asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Constitutional Law for Kentucky

Q: Is DCBS compelled to overturn a substantiated finding if the related court case was dismissed and expunged?

If the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor Child is dismissed from court and expunged, is DCBS compelled or required to overturn a substantiated finding of Abandonment & Supervision Neglect concurrent with the same incident referred to in such case?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: When a court case involving charges such as Endangering the Welfare of a Minor Child is dismissed and expunged, it doesn't automatically mean that the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) must overturn a substantiated finding of Abandonment & Supervision Neglect. These are two separate proceedings with different standards of proof and objectives.

The legal system and child protective services operate independently. The dismissal or expungement of court charges often relates to the legal requirements for criminal conviction, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, DCBS findings in child neglect or abandonment cases are typically determined based on a preponderance of the evidence, a lower threshold.

If you are facing a situation where a substantiated finding remains despite a court dismissal, it might be helpful to consult with a legal advisor who understands both family law and child protective services. They can offer guidance on possible steps to challenge the DCBS finding, such as an administrative appeal or presenting additional evidence to support the case for overturning the finding.

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