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Michigan Legislature

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Section 722.627

CHILD PROTECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
Act 238 of 1975


722.627 Central registry; availability of confidential records; closed court proceeding not required; notice to person named in record; amending or expunging certain reports and records; hearing; evidence; release of reports compiled by law enforcement agency; information obtained by citizen review panel; release or inspection of documents, reports, or records from another agency or organization.

Sec. 7.

(1) The department shall maintain a statewide, electronic central registry to carry out the intent of this act.

(2) Unless made public as specified information released under section 7d, a written report, document, or photograph filed with the department as provided in this act is a confidential record available only to 1 or more of the following:

(a) A legally mandated public or private child protective agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or child neglect or a legally mandated public or private child protective agency or foster care agency prosecuting a disciplinary action against its own employee involving child protective services or foster records.

(b) A police or other law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or child neglect.

(c) A physician who is treating a child whom the physician reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected.

(d) A person legally authorized to place a child in protective custody when the person is confronted with a child whom the person reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected and the confidential record is necessary to determine whether to place the child in protective custody.

(e) A person, agency, or organization, including a multidisciplinary case consultation team, authorized to diagnose, care for, treat, or supervise a child or family who is the subject of a report or record under this act, or who is responsible for the child's health or welfare.

(f) A person named in the report or record as a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator of the child abuse or child neglect or a victim who is an adult at the time of the request, if the identity of the reporting person is protected as provided in section 5.

(g) A court for the purposes of determining the suitability of a person as a guardian of a minor or that otherwise determines that the information is necessary to decide an issue before the court, or in the event of a child's death, a court that had jurisdiction over that child under section 2(b) of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.2.

(h) A grand jury that determines the information is necessary to conduct the grand jury's official business.

(i) A person, agency, or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project. The person, agency, or organization shall not release information identifying a person named in the report or record unless that person's written consent is obtained. The person, agency, or organization shall not conduct a personal interview with a family without the family's prior consent and shall not disclose information that would identify the child or the child's family or other identifying information. The department director may authorize the release of information to a person, agency, or organization described in this subdivision if the release contributes to the purposes of this act and the person, agency, or organization has appropriate controls to maintain the confidentiality of personally identifying information for a person named in a report or record made under this act.

(j) A lawyer-guardian ad litem or other attorney appointed as provided by section 10.

(k) A child placing agency licensed under 1973 PA 116, MCL 722.111 to 722.128, for the purpose of investigating an applicant for adoption, a foster care applicant or licensee or an employee of a foster care applicant or licensee, an adult member of an applicant's or licensee's household, or other persons in a foster care or adoptive home who are directly responsible for the care and welfare of children, to determine suitability of a home for adoption or foster care. The child placing agency shall disclose the information to a foster care applicant or licensee under 1973 PA 116, MCL 722.111 to 722.128, or to an applicant for adoption.

(l) Family division of circuit court staff authorized by the court to investigate foster care applicants and licensees, employees of foster care applicants and licensees, adult members of the applicant's or licensee's household, and other persons in the home who are directly responsible for the care and welfare of children, for the purpose of determining the suitability of the home for foster care. The court shall disclose this information to the applicant or licensee.

(m) Subject to section 7a, a standing or select committee or appropriations subcommittee of either house of the legislature having jurisdiction over child protective services matters.

(n) The children's ombudsman appointed under the children's ombudsman act, 1994 PA 204, MCL 722.921 to 722.932.

(o) A child fatality review team established under section 7b and authorized under that section to investigate and review a child death.

(p) A county medical examiner or deputy county medical examiner appointed under 1953 PA 181, MCL 52.201 to 52.216, for the purpose of carrying out his or her duties under that act.

(q) A citizen review panel established by the department. Access under this subdivision is limited to information the department determines is necessary for the panel to carry out its prescribed duties.

(r) A child care regulatory agency.

(s) A foster care review board for the purpose of meeting the requirements of 1984 PA 422, MCL 722.131 to 722.139a.

(t) A local friend of the court office.

(u) A department employee actively representing himself or herself in a disciplinary action, a labor union representative who is actively representing a department employee in a disciplinary action, or an arbitrator or administrative law judge conducting a hearing involving a department employee's dereliction, malfeasance, or misfeasance of duty, for use solely in connection with that action or hearing. Information disclosed under this subdivision shall be returned not later than 10 days after the conclusion of the action or hearing. A recipient shall not receive further disclosures under this subdivision while he or she retains disclosed information beyond the deadline specified for return.

(3) Subject to subsection (9), a person or entity to whom information described in subsection (2) is disclosed shall make the information available only to a person or entity described in subsection (2). This subsection does not require a court proceeding to be closed that otherwise would be open to the public.

(4) If the department classifies a report of suspected child abuse or child neglect as a central registry case, the department shall maintain a record in the central registry and, within 30 days after the classification, shall notify in writing each person who is named in the record as a perpetrator of the child abuse or child neglect. The notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee. The notice shall set forth the person's right to request expunction of the record and the right to a hearing if the department refuses the request. The notice shall state that the record may be released under section 7d. The notice shall not identify the person reporting the suspected child abuse or child neglect.

(5) A person who is the subject of a report or record made under this act may request the department to amend an inaccurate report or record from the central registry and local office file. A person who is the subject of a report or record made under this act may request the department to expunge from the central registry a report or record by requesting a hearing under subsection (6). A report or record filed in a local office file is not subject to expunction except as the department authorizes, if considered in the best interest of the child.

(6) A person who is the subject of a report or record made under this act may, within 180 days from the date of service of notice of the right to a hearing, request the department hold a hearing to review the request for amendment or expunction. If the hearing request is made within 180 days of the notice, the department shall hold a hearing to determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the report or record in whole or in part should be amended or expunged from the central registry. The hearing shall be held before a hearing officer appointed by the department and shall be conducted as prescribed by the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328. The department may, for good cause, hold a hearing under this subsection if the department determines that the person who is the subject of the report or record submitted the request for a hearing within 60 days after the 180-day notice period expired.

(7) If the investigation of a report conducted under this act does not show child abuse or child neglect by a preponderance of evidence, or if a court dismisses a petition based on the merits of the petition filed under section 2(b) of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.2, because the petitioner has failed to establish that the child comes within the jurisdiction of the court, the information identifying the subject of the report shall be expunged from the central registry. If a preponderance of evidence of abuse or neglect exists, or if a court takes jurisdiction of the child under section 2(b) of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.2, the department shall maintain the information in the central registry as follows:

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), for a person listed as a perpetrator in category I or II under section 8d, either as a result of an investigation or as a result of the reclassification of a case, the department shall maintain the information in the central registry for 10 years.

(b) For a person listed as a perpetrator in category I or II under section 8d that involved any of the circumstances listed in section 17(1) or 18(1), the department shall maintain the information in the central registry until the department receives reliable information that the perpetrator of the abuse or neglect is dead. For the purpose of this subdivision, "reliable information" includes, but is not limited to, information obtained using the United States social security death index database.

(c) For a person who is the subject of a report or record made under this act before the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subdivision, the following applies:

(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii), for a person listed as perpetrator in category I or II under section 8d either as a result of an investigation or as a result of the reclassification of a case, the department may remove the information for a person described in this subparagraph after 10 years without a request for amendment or expunction.

(ii) For a person listed as a perpetrator in category I or II under section 8d that involved any of the circumstances listed in section 17(1) or 18(1), the department shall maintain the information in the central registry until the department receives reliable information that the perpetrator of the child abuse or child neglect is dead. For the purpose of this subparagraph, "reliable information" includes, but is not limited to, information obtained using the United States social security death index database.

(8) In releasing information under this act, the department shall not include a report compiled by a police agency or other law enforcement agency related to an ongoing investigation of suspected child abuse or child neglect. This subsection does not prohibit the department from releasing reports of convictions of crimes related to child abuse or child neglect.

(9) A member or staff member of a citizen review panel shall not disclose identifying information about a specific child protection case to an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity. A member or staff member of a citizen review panel is a member of a board, council, commission, or statutorily created task force of a governmental agency for the purposes of section 7 of 1964 PA 170, MCL 691.1407. Information obtained by a citizen review panel is not subject to the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.

(10) Documents, reports, or records authored by or obtained from another agency or organization shall not be released or open for inspection under subsection (2) unless required by other state or federal law, in response to an order issued by a judge, magistrate, or other authorized judicial officer, or unless the documents, reports, or records are requested for a child abuse or child neglect case or for a criminal investigation of a child abuse or child neglect case conducted by law enforcement.


History: 1975, Act 238, Eff. Oct. 1, 1975 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 511, Imd. Eff. Jan. 26, 1981 ;-- Am. 1984, Act 418, Eff. Mar. 29, 1985 ;-- Am. 1991, Act 78, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1991 ;-- Am. 1993, Act 251, Imd. Eff. Nov. 24, 1993 ;-- Am. 1994, Act 393, Imd. Eff. Dec. 29, 1994 ;-- Am. 1995, Act 220, Imd. Eff. Dec. 1, 1995 ;-- Am. 1995, Act 225, Imd. Eff. Dec. 14, 1995 ;-- Am. 1997, Act 168, Eff. Mar. 31, 1998 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 428, Eff. Apr. 1, 1999 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 483, Eff. Mar. 1, 1999 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 484, Eff. July 1, 1999 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 485, Eff. Aug. 1, 1999 ;-- Am. 2000, Act 45, Imd. Eff. Mar. 27, 2000 ;-- Am. 2002, Act 661, Imd. Eff. Dec. 23, 2002 ;-- Am. 2004, Act 563, Imd. Eff. Jan. 3, 2005 ;-- Am. 2006, Act 621, Imd. Eff. Jan. 3, 2007 ;-- Am. 2008, Act 300, Imd. Eff. Oct. 8, 2008 ;-- Am. 2011, Act 70, Imd. Eff. June 28, 2011 ;-- Am. 2014, Act 30, Eff. Mar. 31, 2015 ;-- Am. 2014, Act 527, Eff. Mar. 31, 2015


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan