Monday, June 16, 2008

child abuse - founded/indicated reports - right to expungement hearing

K.R. v. DPW - Commonwealth Court - June 4, 2008

It was proper for DPW to deny a hearing on a request for expungement of an "indicated report of abuse and enter an determination based on findings in a related dependency case, which was the basis for a "founded" report of abuse. DPW may rely on the factual findings of the trial court in a dependency adjudication to dismiss an appeal for a request for expungement.

An administrative hearing in a later expungement case would be an improper collateral attack on the factual findings in the dependency adjudication, in which proceeding the alleged abuser has a full and fair opportunity to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses. "Due process does not require an administrative [expungement] hearing, as the material facts found in the dependency proceeding cannot be disputed."