Managing Member of Maynard Law Office, LLC, James H. Maynard, Esq., was recently interviewed by the New Jersey Monitor to discuss one of the firm’s current cases, K.C. v. Matthew J. Platkin, Acting Attorney General for NJ and Christine Norbut Beyer, Commissioner of the NJ Dep’t of Children and Families, et al.. Maynard Law Office is seeking to obtain the removal of one of their clients from New Jersey’s Child Abuse Registry.
What is the Child Abuse Registry in NJ?
The Child Abuse Registry is maintained by the Department of Child and Families (DCF). If there is an allegation that someone has committed an act of child abuse or neglect, and if DCF finds that a “preponderance of the evidence” establishes tha a child is an abused or neglected child, warranting a “substantiated” finding, then that person’s name is included on the Child Abuse Registry. Once a person is on this registry, then that individual remains on for life!
What Does the Lawsuit Allege?
In K.C.’s Complaint, he argued that lifetime placement is unconstitutional. K.C alleges that lifetime inclusion violates Substantive and Procedural Due Process rights, and Equal Protection rights under the NJ Constitution. As a practical matter, his ability to obtain certain jobs are hampered. Additionally, his ability to adopt a child or become a foster parent is also affected. These are just some of the many negative effects that can result from being on NJ’s Child Abuse Registry.
K.C. was first placed on the Child Abuse Registry almost 20 years ago for an offense that occurred when K.C. was a juvenile. K.C.’s matter was resolved in Family Court, and he was adjudicated as a juvenile of a sex offense that involved a minor victim. Now, K.C. is 42 years old and he has led an utterly law-abiding life since his adjudication almost two decades ago. There have been no accusations that he has engaged in any inappropriate behavior. He has not been arrested, charged, or convicted of any other offense. However, under the current law, K.C. can never petition for removal from the Child Abuse Registry.
K.C. was Removed from NJ’s Megan’s Law, but Unable to Petition for Removal from Child Abuse Registry in NJ:
New Jersey’s sex offender registry (“Megan’s Law”) is a lifetime registry. However, many individuals can seek removal after 15 years of release from incarceration, or date of conviction/adjudication. However, those on NJ’s Child Abuse Registry, can never seek removal from the registry. It does not matter if a person becomes rehabilitated. Nor does it matter if 10, 15, 25, or 50 years have elapsed. Regardless of whether a person can demonstrate that he or she is a productive, law-abiding citizen, that person will stay on the Child Abuse Registry forever.
In K.C.’s matter, he was removed from New Jersey Megan’s Law almost five years ago. In order to get removed, K.C. had to prove two things. First, he had to show that he has not committed another crime. Second, K.C. had to demonstrate that he is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others. A Superior Court Judge in New Jersey found that K.C. met those two requirements. As a result, K.C. was no longer subject to New Jersey’s sex offender laws. Yet, because the laws governing New Jersey’s Child Abuse Registry do not allow for someone to petition to get off, K.C. will be required to remain on the Child Abuse Registry forever.
Call Maynard Law Office, LLC Today:
If you or someone you know is on NJ’s Child Abuse Registry, call our law firm to discuss your case. Our law firm is specialized in sex offense law. We offer free consultations, so call (973)-540-0054 today to discuss your legal matter.