CACI Grievance Hearing Denial
The two most common reasons are: 1) there is a court case pending, and 2) a finding was made in court that the child was abused or neglected. Let's go over each scenario.You Were Denied a CACI Grievance Hearing Based on a Pending Court Case
By statute, the county may deny you a Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing when you have a pending court case and the subject of the court case is the same factual allegation for which you were placed on the CACI. If that happens, the county should send you a CACI grievance hearing denial letter. The two most common court cases that you might have pending are: a criminal case and a dependency case.
If you have a pending criminal case, that case should be your primary focus. If local county prosecutors are reviewing your case to decide whether or not to charge you with a crime, that's your first priority. You do not want to have a CACI grievance hearing until any potential criminal case is resolved. If that's the case, you would still submit your Request for Grievance Hearing to the county child welfare agency. They may issue you a "caci grievance hearing denial" letter. That's fine-the key is you sent in your request within the 30 days you received your Notice of Child Abuse Central Index Listing.
Once you confirm that the prosecutors are not going to press criminal charges, you can reinstate your grievance process. If, on the other hand, prosecutors do press charges, then you will need to avoid a guilty plea or guilty verdict on the child abuse or related charge. If the criminal charges are dismissed or you win after trial, you have 30 days to then contact the county and reinstate your CACI grievance procedure.
If you are not facing criminal charges but a petition in dependency court has been filed against you, you likewise need to avoid a finding that you committed child abuse or neglect in order to secure your right to a CACI grievance hearing. You will have to wait until your dependency case is resolved before you can reinstate your grievance process.You Were Denied a CACI Grievance Hearing Based on a Finding in Court
If, in your criminal case, you plead guilty or are found guilty of committing child abuse or child neglect, you will lose your right to have a CACI grievance hearing, and your denial of grievance hearing will remain final. You will not be granted a hearing and you will stay on the index for the rest of your life (or, if you are a minor, for the next 10 years at the least).
If you have a case in dependency court, you want to avoid a situation where the judge sustains the petition against you. You certainly want to avoid admitting that you committed child abuse or neglect in the factual basis for the sustained petition.
Your goal is to get the case dismissed. Upon a dismissal, you must renew the grievance process within 30 days.
Most county child welfare agencies (if not all of them) take the position that if your petition is sustained, you automatically lose your right to a CACI hearing, and they will issue you a final CACI grievance hearing denial letter.
If this happens to you, you have another option. You could file a Petitioner for Writ of Mandate (or Mandamus) in court, asking a judge to order the agency to give you a hearing. This legal issue is somewhat complicated and deserves a conversation between you and a knowledgeable lawyer…but it is a fight worth fighting.
If you find yourself in this situation, please contact me right away to see if I can help you. Time is tight. You only have 60-90 days to act in order to file a Petition for Writ of Mandate. So don't delay.