Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The unconstitutional registry

The US Supreme Court is hearing a case on the constitutionality of the California child abuse index. The LA Times reports:
A lawyer for Los Angeles County told the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday that the failure to remove a wrongly accused couple from California's index of reported child abusers was the state's responsibility, not the county's.

"It's the state's data base," said attorney Timothy Coates. "There are no state standards and no specific criteria for removing someone from the list. We don't have any procedures on how to go about that."

The case of Craig and Wendy Humphries has highlighted the difficulty of getting off the state index once a person's name has been reported to Sacramento for abusing a child. The state's law requires many agencies and employees, including schools, police and child care workers, to report instances of suspected child abuse.

More than 800,000 names are on California's index, and employers consult the list before hiring people to work with children. ...

In January of 2009, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals described their "nightmarish encounter" with the California system and ruled that both the state and county were liable for violating their constitutional rights. "There is no effective procedure for the Humphries to challenge this listing," the appeals court said.
My situation is just as outrageous as the Humphries. My ex-wife made a complaint to CPS in which she made false allegations of emotional abuse against me. As a result, my name was put on the state child abuser registry. At the court hearing, the CPS agent admitted that I never did any act that constituted abuse or that was contrary to law. And yet I cannot get off the registry because the state has no due process for doing so.

The US Supreme Court should declare the entire registry unconstitutional. It is not like the sex offender registry, which only lists those who have been convicted of sex crimes. The child abuse registry lists those who have been suspected of abuse, whether they have been proved innocent or not. It is entirely contrary to our legal assumptions of being innocent until proven guilty. I am only on the list because I have a malicious ex-wife who discovered that she could get more child support money by lying about me to CPS.

Here are the briefs and oral argument transcript for the Supreme Court case. Here is theaudio.


Anonymous said...

you aren't the only one on the list for that very reason. Very Kafka-esque that no one seems to know exactly how to appeal or that there's even an appeals process. All bureacracies tend to want procedures and such under tight wraps and out of the light of day, seems to be an airtight principle.

Unknown said...

The CACI is unconstitutional. The social workers who are not trained to make such a crucial and critical decision often do so. The county workers follow the states unconstitutional law which was defined by the ninth circuit court of appeals in 2008, but the county leaves the absolute decision making up to unequipped social workers to make a decision of their on opinions that affect the lives of a substanial amount innocent people and last but not least the children suffer because of the affects of a registry that is unconstitutional, such as, parents can become unemployed due to the listing therefore unable to provide for their families. START PROTESTING INFRONT OF THE STATE CAPITAL.