Receiving a letter from your county government informing you that you will be placed on California’s Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) is a confusing and concerning moment. What is the CACI? Why am I on there? How did they get my name? Who reported me? I didn’t abuse my child! This is a mistake! Can I fix this myself? Do I need a lawyer?
Those might have been a few of the thoughts going through your head when you first heard about your name being placed on the CACI. This blog will answer the last question above: do you need a lawyer? The simple answer is no. The smart answer is yes. Here are 3 reasons why you should hire a San Diego CACI attorney to represent you in your San Diego CACI Grievance Hearing.
First, while the Child Abuse Central Index Grievance Hearing itself is not held in a courtroom, or even in a courthouse, you still may have to go to court during the process of preparing for your hearing. San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency will not give you copies of any of the evidence they have against you. Their position is that they are legally prohibited from giving you this information because there is a minor involved. This is true even if the minor is your own child.
The only way to get copies of the evidence against you is to go to court and ask a judge to force the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to give you copies. To do so, you must file a petition with the court. An attorney who is experienced in these types of petitions dealing with San Diego County CACI hearings will know exactly how to proceed. Your San Diego CACI lawyer can prepare and file the petition for you and even go to court for you so that you do not have to go.
Second, there are other procedures involved in preparing for your hearing that you may be unaware of or may not know how to do. For example, you may need to issue a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum in order to properly prepare for the hearing, to obtain more evidence, or to ensure a witness attends the hearing to testify.
Again, the only way you can lawfully issue any type of subpoena in your San Diego CACI case is by asking a judge to allow you to do so. This means you would have to file a petition in court so that the judge can make orders on your case. An attorney can help you in your San Diego County Child Abuse Central Index case by handling this for you. Your lawyer can prepare the petition and go to court on your behalf so that you would not have to go to court.
Third, while the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency informs you of some rules, procedures and laws , the agency does not provide you with all the law you may need to win your case. At the time of your hearing, you will be given summaries of the applicable laws, but that is all they are–summaries. There are important elements of the law missing. Frequently, it is exactly those missing elements that can be most helpful to those whose names are about to be placed on the CACI. A San Diego CACI attorney will know the law that will be most helpful to you.
Are you required to hire a lawyer to help you with your San Diego CACI Grievance Hearing? No. Do you need a San Diego CACI attorney to win? Probably. Would it be smart to hire one? Yes.