Yes, even county prosecutors are susceptible to the Child Abuse Central Index, commonalty referred to as the C.A.C.I. Believe it or not, the name of a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County along with his wife’s name were added to the C.A.C.I. and their names remained on the index for approximately 11 months. The prosecutor’s story has recently made headlines because he is now suing the Orange County Social Services Agency and the social worker that handled his case.
Though the prosecutor’s story is now shedding light on what the prosecutor claims are inadequacies with the C.A.C.I., attorneys such as attorney Daniel V. Cota who have fought to get people’s names off of the C.A.C.I for several years now, have always maintained that it is unconstitutional has many shortcomings.
The prosecutor is alleged to have caused emotional abuse to his daughter by using scissors to cut off her hair in an effort to discipline her. This triggered an investigation by the Orange County Social Services Agency and a social worker found the allegation to be “inconclusive.” Thus, the names of the prosecutor and his wife were immediately added to the C.A.C.I.
In fighting to remove the names of numerous clients from the C.A.C.I., we have often run into many of the same problems that the prosecutor experienced. For example:
1. A person’s name is added to the C.A.C.I. immediately after the social worker’s report and/or determination is made, without allowing the appeals process to run its course first. This would seem to violate the Due Process Clause as provided in both the California and United States Constitutions.
2. A person is entitled to a grievance hearing, but most times it takes a very long time before the hearing is conducted. In the prosecutor’s case, his name remained on the C.A.C.I. for 11 months.
3. The grievance hearing process turns the tables on the accused in that a person is basically “guilty until proven innocent.” Again, a person’s name is added to the C.A.C.I. before a hearing is conducted and a person must prove why their name should be removed from the C.A.C.I. (instead of the Social Services Agency having to prove why a person’s name should be added or remain on the index).
4. It takes several months to get the social worker’s report(s). This is because the appropriate petitions must be filed with the Children’s Court in order to gain access to these reports, which can take months to be reviewed and approved. In the prosecutor’s case, he was not allowed to see the report for 12 weeks.
It will be interesting to see how the prosecutor fairs in his lawsuit. We hope that the information in this blog gives you some helpful insight into the C.A.C.I. If you or a loved one needs assistance with getting a name removed from the C.A.C.I., visit our website at www.danielcotalaw.com or call the Law Offices of Daniel V. Cota toll free at (800) 351-6860. We are ready to take your call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! The Law Offices of Daniel V. Cota has been in the business of helping people remove their name from the C.A.C.I for over 7 years and we would like to help you get your name removed!