§ 49-5-183. Division to update registry upon notification of substantiated case; notice to alleged abuser; representation of alleged minor child abuser; hearing on expungement of name from registry.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 49. SOCIAL SERVICES

Chapter 5. PROGRAMS AND PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Article 8. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES INFORMATION SYSTEM

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 49-5-183. Division to update registry upon notification of substantiated case; notice to alleged abuser; representation of alleged minor child abuser; hearing on expungement of name from registry

(a) Upon receipt of an investigator's report of a substantiated case transmitted pursuant to Code Section 49-5-182 naming an alleged child abuser, the division

shall mail to such alleged child abuser in such report a notice regarding the substantiated case via certified mail, return receipt requested. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that any such notice has been received if the return receipt has been received by the division. The notice shall :

(1) State that an abuse investigator has investigated a report of child abuse and has found by a preponderance of the evidence that such alleged child abuser committed an act of child abuse;
(2) State that the name of such alleged child abuser and a copy of the investigator's report shall be included in the child abuse registry, unless a hearing to dispute the investigator's determination is requested within 30 days of receipt of the notice;
(3) Include:
(A) The name of the alleged child abuser;
(B) The name of the child alleged to have been abused;
(C) The date the child abuse occurred;
(D) The date the child abuse was reported;
(E) A copy of the investigator's report; and
(F) A summary of the known details of the child abuse which at a minimum shall contain the classification and type of the abuse; and
(4) Advise such alleged child abuser of:
(A) The right to request a hearing to dispute the investigator's determination that he or she committed an act of child abuse;
(B) The procedure and time frame in which to request a hearing for such dispute;
(C) The right to be represented by an attorney of his or her choice at the hearing and to present evidence on the issues involved;
(D) The consequences of being named in the child abuse registry, including the effect on employment opportunity and professional licensure; and
(E) The opportunity to request expungement and the details for that procedure.

(b) In order to exercise such right to a hearing, the alleged child abuser shall file a written request for a hearing with the division within 30 days after receipt of such notice. The written request shall contain such alleged child abuser's current residence address and, if he or she has a telephone, a telephone number at which he or she may be notified of the hearing. It shall be the responsibility of such alleged child abuser requesting such hearing to inform the division and the Office of State Administrative Hearings of any subsequent change in address or telephone number.
(c) After the expiration of the period to request a hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, if the division has not received such request, it shall include in the child abuse registry the name of the alleged child abuser, the classification and type of the abuse, and a copy of the investigator's report.
(d)
(1) If the division receives a timely written request for a hearing under subsection (b) of this Code section, it shall transmit such request to the Office of State Administrative Hearings and the office of the district attorney for the judicial circuit in which the child abuse was committed within ten days after such receipt.
(2)
(A) For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'final disposition of the criminal prosecution' shall mean the dismissal of the criminal charges or entry of judgment and the resolution of any direct appeal taken thereon.
(B) The prosecuting attorney with jurisdiction over the criminal prosecution of any child abuse charges may file a motion requesting postponement of the hearing if in such attorney's opinion conducting such hearing will impact the ability to prosecute the criminal case. Such motion shall be filed within 20 days after the office of the district attorney receives the written request for a hearing. Upon such motion, the hearing shall be stayed by order of the administrative law judge until final disposition of the criminal prosecution.
(C) Within 30 days of the final disposition of the criminal prosecution, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the Office of State Administrative Hearings, the division, and the alleged child abuser of such disposition. Within 30 days following receipt by the Office of State Administrative Hearings of such notification, the administrative law judge shall conduct a hearing in accordance with this subsection.
(D) When an order staying a hearing is granted, at least once every three years from the date of such order, until final disposition of the criminal prosecution, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the Office of State Administrative Hearings, the division, and the alleged child abuser that there has not been a final disposition of the criminal prosecution. If the Office of State Administrative Hearings does not receive timely notification from the prosecuting attorney, the administrative law judge shall conduct a hearing in accordance with this subsection.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Office of State Administrative Hearings shall conduct a hearing upon the request of the alleged child abuser in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and the rules of the Office of State Administrative Hearings adopted pursuant thereto, except as otherwise provided in this article.
(4) The hearing shall be for the purpose of an administrative determination regarding whether, based on a preponderance of evidence, there was child abuse committed by the alleged child abuser .
(5) The Office of State Administrative Hearings shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing by first-class mail at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing to the alleged child abuser to the address specified in his or her written request for a hearing, to the division , and to the office of the district attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged act of child abuse was committed. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that any such notice is received five days after deposit in the United States mail with the correct address of the alleged child abuser, the division, and the district attorney, respectively, and proper postage affixed.
(6) Unless postponed by mutual consent of the alleged child abuser, the division, and the administrative law judge or for good cause shown, such hearing shall be held within 30 days of the Office of State Administrative Hearings receiving the request for a hearing .
(7) A motion for an expedited hearing may be filed in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Office of State Administrative Hearings.
(8) The hearing may be continued as necessary to allow the retention of counsel.
(9) A telephone hearing may be conducted in accordance with standards prescribed in paragraph (5) of Code Section 50-13-15.
(10) Upon the request of the alleged child abuser, the division, or the assigned administrative law judge, venue may be transferred to any location within this state if the alleged child abuser, the division, and the administrative law judge consent to such a change of venue. Otherwise, the hearing shall be conducted in the county in which the alleged act of child abuse was committed or a suitable location no farther than 50 miles from such county.
(11) The doctrines of collateral estoppel and res judicata as applied in judicial proceedings shall be applicable to the administrative hearings held pursuant to this article.
(12) Code Section 49-5-41, relating to access to records concerning reports of child abuse, shall be applicable to the administrative hearings held pursuant to this subsection.
(e) At the conclusion of the hearing under subsection (d) of this Code section, upon a finding that there is a preponderance of evidence to conclude that the alleged child abuser committed an act of child abuse, the administrative law judge shall order that such alleged child abuser's name be included in the child abuse registry; provided, however, that if the evidence was insufficient, the judge shall issue an order to that effect. Such order shall be issued and transmitted to the alleged child abuser within five days after the conclusion of the hearing. The general public shall be excluded from hearings of the Office of State Administrative Hearings held pursuant to this article, provided that a prosecuting attorney for the jurisdiction in which the alleged act of child abuse was committed or his or her staff may attend such hearings, and the files and records relating thereto shall be confidential and not subject to public inspection.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the decision of the administrative law judge under subsection (e) of this Code section shall constitute the final administrative decision. The alleged child abuser and the division shall have the right of judicial review of such decision in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," except that the petition for review shall be filed within 30 days after such decision and shall only be filed with and the decision appealed to the superior court of the county where the hearing took place or, if the hearing was conducted by telephone, the Superior Court of Fulton County. The procedures for such appeal shall be substantially the same as those for judicial review of contested cases under Code Section 50-13-19 except that service of a petition for judicial review shall stay the listing of the alleged child abuser's name upon the child abuse registry, and the superior court shall conduct the review and render its decision thereon within 30 days following service of the petition. The review and records thereof shall be closed to the public and not subject to public inspection.
(g) Within ten days after the expiration of the period to seek judicial review by a superior court, if no review is sought, the administrative law judge shall transmit to the division his or her order regarding the alleged child abuser and the investigator's report . If a timely petition for judicial review is filed , the superior court shall transmit to the division its decision regarding the alleged child abuser and the investigator's report within ten days following such decision. The division shall not include an alleged child abuser's name in the child abuse registry until the exhaustion of such alleged child abuser's appellate rights. When the division includes a name in the child abuse registry, it shall be accompanied by the classification and type of abuse and a copy of the investigator's report.


Cite as OCGA § 49-5-183

History. Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 252, §3, eff. 1/1/2020.

Amended by 2016 Ga. Laws 625, §49, eff. 5/3/2016.

Amended by 2016 Ga. Laws 597, §8, eff. 7/1/2016.

Added by 2015 Ga. Laws 77, §11, eff. 7/1/2015.