Why You Need to get the SS 8572 Form

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here, and I wanted to offer you a quick tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing case.

Now when you’re asking for the evidence that the county has or the government has against you, you’re going to want to ask for a form called the SS-8572 form. That’s just the number or the tag that they give to this form, what this form is called.

Now this form is the form that mandated reporters are required to fill out when they send a report of suspected child abuse to the government. The reason why you want to get a copy of this form is because it will give you the reporter’s take on what happened. It will be in the reporter’s own words. Now, they’ll end up hiding the reporter’s identity, but you want to see what it is they were reporting.

The SS-8572 is something that you want to request a copy of from the county when you are getting a copy of the evidence in your case. That will be very helpful to you to give you an idea as to what exactly it is that they are accusing you of.

That is your CACI quick tip for the day.

Why You Need to Prepare a Statement of Facts

Hi, CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here and here’s a quick tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing case.

When the social worker who is investigating your case was finished with an interview or they finished talking to somebody, or making a visit, then that person would have gone to the office and written up some notes about what happened and a summary of the conversation maybe with some details, maybe some quotes. And that’s important because it lends some credibility to the summary or to the notes because they are written at the time or near the time of the conversation.

In order for you to level the playing field, you should do the same thing. You should be writing notes about what happened. You should write a statement of facts and a log about everything that you’re going through, any conversations you had, what was said, when did the conversations take place.

You should have been doing that already and if you haven’t, you need to start now. As time goes on, your memory will start fading and so it’s important that you do it now and you’ll be able to use that going forward.

You might also write notes about when you’re writing the notes, so today is such and such a date and here’s a summary of what happened on such and such a date.

You might do that on a computer so that you can go back and edit if you need too. If you remember something you can go ahead and add that.

And that is your CACI quick tip.

Get These Types of Character Letters for Your Grievance Hearing

Hi, CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another quick tip for you.

Character letters can be important in your grievance hearing, your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing. The credibility of any complaining witnesses and your credibility will be important. They’re going to play a role in how the hearing officer decides your case, whether or not you are someone who is believable and reliable.

Character letters from friends of yours (or family members or acquaintances or neighbors or co-workers or whoever it might be) can be helpful.

Character letters can talk about your character, whether or not you’re an honest and trustworthy person. They could talk about your character when it comes to temper, whether you are patient or whether you’re a hothead. Of course, you wouldn’t want that.

Assuming that you are patient, that you are someone who is a peacemaker, for example, rather than someone who is going to be starting a fight, someone who is good with kids and patient with kids and tolerant of behavior that others might not be tolerant of. These things you’re going to want to start gathering, if you haven’t already—character letters.

You’re going to want these character letters to be declarations under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of California.

Some counties even require that your character letters be notarized. In my experience, most counties don’t require that. In fact, I think there’s only one that I can think of that requires that. That’s something you might do as well.

This is a quick tip for your CACI case, and I hope you found it helpful.

How to Behave in Your CACI Grievance Hearing

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI quick tip. I’ve heard from various grievance hearing officers and various counties a concern that sometimes someone who is representing himself or herself in the hearing itself will express some anger or will get upset, maybe start yelling, maybe lash out.

I just wanted to give you some advice: don’t do that. Don’t get upset in a grievance hearing.

It’s a very bad idea, especially if the allegation against you is that you lashed out in anger against a child. To lose your temper and get hot-headed in a CACI grievance hearing only corroborates the allegation in that kind of scenario. You don’t want to do that. It’s a really bad idea.

Instead, remain calm, be rational, thoughtful, careful, attentive to what’s being said, and show that you are patient, reasonable, and someone who is calm under pressure, and someone who is credible and reliable.

That is your CACI quick tip for today.

Injury Photographs

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI quick tip. Injuries are often at play in these CACI grievance hearings, the Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearings.

Usually there’s an injury to a child. If there is, you want to take pictures, even if there are recent ones. Perhaps you’re viewing this video and the incident happened a long time ago. It’s too late to take pictures.

If there are any other incidents that happen from now until your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing, make sure you take pictures. If you had pictures, if you did take pictures, make sure that you save them. Don’t get rid of them.

If they are time-stamped, that is better. It can be helpful in your case for a lot of different reasons, depending on the injury, whether it’s a bruise or a cut or a scrape or a broken tooth, or whatever it might be.

Take pictures if you haven’t taken pictures, and if you have them, make sure you save them.

That is your CACI quick tip.

Keep a Chronology of Events

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here, and I wanted to offer you another CACI quick tip.

This is about a chronology. I strongly encourage you to write down a chronology of events that are relevant to your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing. You might go back…I don’t know how far back you’re going to go, but it might go back years, or it might go back only a few months, just depending on what’s needed in your case.

You want to write a list of, for example, prior incidents, or prior allegations that are relevant to your situation.

You’re also going to want to include a chronology of the investigation that the CPS social worker was undertaking. When were the interviews? How long did they take? Who did the social worker speak with? If there is an allegation of an injury, when did the injury supposedly happen? When did the injury—when did it show up? When was it reported for the first time? When was it photographed, if ever? When did the investigation from the social worker start?

Chronology of events can be very helpful in helping you determine what your strategy is going to be in defending your case and the allegations against you.

That is your CACI quick tip, to use a chronology and to write it down. I hope you found it helpful.

Reasonable Physical Parental Discipline Privilege

Hi, CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here and I wanted to talk about an important defense in many cases.

It is the reasonable physical parental discipline defense. Parents have a privilege that is not available to other people. They are allowed to physically discipline children under the law as long as the discipline is reasonable. It cannot be excessive.

Sometimes CPS social workers who are investigating allegations of child abuse do not realize that or they don’t consider it or they don’t take it into account or whatever.

If that’s not happening in your case, then you need to and you need to start presenting evidence that shows that. If your case is about parental physical discipline, then you need to take that into account in to how you’re going to bring that up and how is that going to help you in your case or how might it hurt in your case.

That is your CACI quick tip to make sure that you are considering that as part of your case.

How Must CPS Prove Mental Abuse of a Child?

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI Quick Tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing. This is relevant to you if you have been accused of committing mental abuse, sometimes called the emotional abuse against a child.

Now the important part to remember here is that mental abuse, the allegation, what it is, is unjustified mental suffering. That’s what the county has to prove if it wants to win its case against you, and that’s what you want to undermine or disprove if you are fighting your case.

Now what is unjustified mental suffering? It’s something that requires evidence. It’s not enough for the county to just say that the child suffered mentally. They have to prove it. What kind of proof are they going to use? It has to be something that has been said or something that has been seen, something that has been observed or heard, evidence to hang their hat on. You’re going to want to try to rebut or undermine that.

That is your CACI Quick Tip for the day.

What to Say in Your CACI Hearing Closing Argument

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI quick tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing.

I wanted to talk about closing arguments. When you’re in your grievance hearing, you present the evidence, witnesses may testify. The county presents their evidence, witnesses may testify. At the end of the case, at the end of the hearing, you have the opportunity to present a closing argument.

What a closing argument is that it is the closing, which means the last, the final, the big strong hurrah and it is an argument. An argument is not just simply rehashing the facts, just going over again what was already said. That’s not what an argument is.

It’s important in your argument that you present conclusions, the inferences. What do the facts mean? What does the evidence mean? What inferences can we draw from the facts? What do you want to say about the evidence that’s been presented? Is there any bias that’s been demonstrated there? You want to read between the lines. And specifically you want to apply the facts to the law, especially when it comes to burden of proof. Has the county met the burden of proof?

It’s not enough to just say again, just to repeat what you’ve already said. You want to argue that the facts line up in your favor when you consider these different legal issues, whatever legal issues are going to be relevant in your case.

That is your CACI quick tip.

Why You Need the BCIA 8583 Form

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here. I wanted to give you a quick tip about what you should be asking for from the county when it comes to your evidence.

One of the forms that you’re going to want to get is called the BCIA-8583. You might write that down: BCIA-8583.

This form is what the county agency, CPS, will be sending to the California Department of Justice to have your name placed on the CACI, on the Child Abuse Central Index.

The reason why you want to get a copy of it is because the county, in that form, indicates, they put a little check box next to the type of allegation that is being raised against you.

You’re not likely to find out exactly what it is that you’re being accused of without this form. You need this form, because without it the county is not going to tell you. At least in my experience, the counties don’t tell you what they’re accusing you of exactly without this form.

They’re not going to give you the form if you don’t ask for it, so you’ve got to ask for it.

That is your CACI quick tip.

How to Fill Out the Request a Grievance Hearing Form

Hi, CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here and I want to give you a quick tip about how to fill out the form when you’re asking for a child abuse central index grievance hearing.

Now what I want you to do first is look at the form that you got in the mail telling you that you were placed on the Index and this is a form that right at the top it says “Notice of Child Abuse Central Index Listing”.

Down sort of near middle of the page it’ll tell you what it is exactly they think that you did. What kind of abuse or neglect was substantiated. Some counties they’ll tell you only the type of abuse whether physical injury or severe neglect or something like that. Other counties will give a very brief one sentence or one phrase description of what happened, like a bruise on an arm or something like that.

Now take a look at what they give you, and now take a look at the form called the Request for Grievance Hearing form. Again, right at the top you’ll see that title there and they should have given you a blank copy of this. This is what you fill in and what you send to the county agency to ask for your grievance hearing.

Note right in the middle of the page there, it says Reason for Grievance and there’s four check boxes. They want you to tell them why you are disputing the placement of your name on the Child Abuse Central Index.

They give of three different reasons…well, there’s four different check boxes. One is you saying that you didn’t do it, that you didn’t do anything, it’s not you, they got the wrong person.

Another check box allows you to say well these alleged acts of the abuse never occurred.

The third one is you saying, “Even if these acts did occur they don’t qualify as abuse or neglect, under the law.”

The fourth one they give you, the fourth option is “Other” and it basically says, “Tell us why you’re disputing the placement of your name on the list,” and it gives you the lines where you can write in.

So they want you to give them as much information as you can, or as you’re willing to give them, and they give you in the Notice very little information. I don’t think that’s very fair.

What I would encourage you to do is instead of writing a check in those three boxes, I would write a check in the “Other” box and what I would write is, “I can’t say until I’ve seen the evidence against me.” That’s what I’d write and that’s what I would encourage you to write.

You haven’t seen the evidence and you don’t know what they’re accusing you of exactly, so it’s not really fair and it’s not a good idea for you to pin yourself down and write something that might not exactly be accurate.

That is your quick CACI tip for the day.

How to Bring Up the Credibility of the Child in Your CACI Hearing

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another quick tip for you.

Credibility of a child can be an important part of your case. Depending on the circumstances of your case, whether it’s your child or a foster child or a neighbor or what not, the child who is supposedly a person that you abused or neglected will be an important factor when you consider the credibility of that child.

Now it’s not just talking about whether or not the child lied or told the truth. There are other important factors when it comes to credibility. For example, age of the child would become important. At certain ages a child may not understand the difference between an act that is done accidentally and an act that is done intentionally.

That is something that’s important and not always discussed by a CPS investigating social worker, even if they may say this child knows the difference between right and wrong, between something that is true and something that is false. They don’t always delve into the issue of does the child understand accident versus intentional.

Another issue will be a motive of the child. Does this child have any motive to make any false allegations? These are facts that you’re going to want to be looking into and evaluating in your case.

I hope this CACI quick tip is helpful for you.

Does Motive Matter in Your CACI Grievance Hearing?

Hi, this is CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here, and I wanted to give you another quick tip.

This is about motive. You might have seen a lot of the crime shows, TV or the movies, that talk about motive a lot, and I’m not sure why they do that. Motive is important but did you know prosecutors in court do not have to prove motive?

Someone does not have to have a certain motive to commit a crime. The same is true for child abuse. The government, in your case CPS, in your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing, CPS does not have to prove that you had a motive to harm a child, nor do you have to prove motive or lack of motive.

Motive is something that can be relevant and can play an important role in a case, but it is not required. It doesn’t even have to come up from either party. When you’re evaluating your case, that’s something to keep in mind.

And that is your CACI quick tip.

You Should Prepare a Brag Sheet

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI quick tip for you.

I recommend that you prepare a brag sheet. What I mean by that is, I’m sure you are a wonderful person. I’m sure there are just thousands of reasons that make you a good person, or a good aunt, or a good parent, or uncle, or grandparent, and you want to write those down. You want to know what evidence is there that you are a wonderful person.

A lot of people have a hard time bragging about themselves, right? That’s understandable. If you have a hard time thinking about all the different things that make you a great person, you might talk to friends or family members and get some ideas.

For example, maybe you go to church every Sunday, or maybe you sponsor a child in Ethiopia, or maybe you are the only person who takes care of your sick grandmother, or maybe you volunteered at the boys and girls club, or you volunteer at a homeless shelter on Thanksgivings, during Thanksgivings. I don’t know.

I’m sure there are lots of reasons that you could come up with to show that you are a really good person, a kind-hearted individual. You take care of other people’s children when they need it in cases of emergency. Or maybe you’re the only person at work that your boss trusts with the key to the store, for example. Whatever it is that you can write down to show the type of person that you are.

This can be important in cases where what CPS is alleging that you are is something that’s really bad, something that most people would not want to fess up to. Right? Really bad conduct.

Maybe you are an excellent parent. Write down evidence. Write down things that we could point to to say, “Here’s some really good things that show that this is a really good parent or a really good person.” That could come in helpful in your CACI grievance hearing, your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing.

That is your CACI quick tip for the day. I hope you found it helpful.

Battery v. Child Abuse

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another CACI quick tip. I wanted to discuss battery versus child abuse. I was having a conversation a while back with an attorney and we were going over a hypothetical. It wasn’t really clear in this attorney’s mind that battery does not equal, necessarily, child abuse, and the reverse is also true. Child abuse does not equal, necessarily, a battery.

It is possible to commit a battery on a child, the crime of a battery on a child without committing child abuse. Did you know that? Also, it is possible to commit the crime of battery on a child without committing child abuse, and it’s possible to commit child abuse without committing a battery.

Those two terms, under the law, are not synonymous. It’s important for you to know that because the CPS agency that’s investigating you might not know that, and if they don’t, then you need to. Depending on your case, it could play an important role in the strategy and how you’re going to defend yourself.

Keep that in mind. Battery does not equal child abuse, and child abuse does not equal battery.

That is your CACI quick tip for the day.

How the Government Proves Severe Neglect

Hi, CACI lawyer, Tate Lounsbery here and I wanted to give you another CACI quick tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing.

This is with regard to severe neglect so if you’ve been accused of committing severe neglect against a child, then this will be relevant to you.

What’s important to note that there are two different types of neglect, there is general neglect and there’s severe neglect.

General neglect does not involve harm to the child, like physical harm to the child but severe neglect does. So if a CPS agency is accusing you of severely neglecting a child, they have to prove that the child was harmed in some way. You’re going to want to get proof of that or you’re going to want to rebut or undermine any proof of that.

And that is your CACI quick tip for today.

The Dual Roles of Client and Attorney

Hi. CACI lawyer Tate Lounsbery here with another quick tip for your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing.

I wanted to discuss the dual roles of both client and attorney. It’s important for you to have a lawyer represent you in your case for just a lot of different reasons. One of them is that dual role.

A client has the opportunity to present a role where you present the facts, you testify, you give the emotion, the emotional background of the case.

Your lawyer does none of that. Your lawyer’s job is instead to be neutral, to be an objective party who is reasonable and rational and can present a good and persuasive, strong argument.

Your case, your role is to present the facts and the emotion and the evidence. Your lawyer’s role is to present the argument and the logic. The reason behind why your name should not be listed on the Child Abuse Central Index.

It’s important to have those dual roles and when you have an opportunity to have an attorney to represent you, it’s important to take advantage of those two dual roles.

That is your CACI quick tip for today.