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Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) Info & Name Removal

What is the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)

The Child Abuse Central Index, or CACI, is a confidential Department of Justice (DOJ) data base that lists information on persons alleged to have committed child abuse and/or severe child neglect.

The CACI is used by law enforcement, judges welfare agencies, child care providers, adoption agencies, professional licensing boards, military, volunteer organizations, and prospective employers, to make those entities aware of a CACI listed person’s potential danger to children.

CACI information includes: Name and description of suspect and victim, case number (criminal court, juvenile dependency court, or Child Protection Service (CPS) case number), type of allegations investigated, and whether or not the allegations were substantiated. Unless successfully contested at a CACI grievance hearing, a suspect listed on the CACI will remain listed until his or her hundredth birthday. A victim may have his or her name removed from the CACI at age eighteen.

Definitions: The term child refers to a minor child under the age of eighteen. The term abuse means sexual abuse, unreasonable mental abuse, and/or unreasonable physical abuse. The term severe neglect means the unreasonable failure to protect or provide for a child to a degree that causes harm to that child or puts that child in danger of harm, also known as willful child endangerment.

Negative impact of CACI name listing

Consequences of being listed on the CACI include: Loss of security clearance in a profession or military, loss of employment (especially in the fields of education, law enforcement, military, health care, and child care), loss of the right to adopt a child, reputation disparagement, and more.

How to find out if you are listed in the CACI

To learn whether or not your name is listed on the CACI, send a notarized written request to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Include your name, current and former California addresses, birth date, social security number and/or a California identification number. Send request to:

Department of Justice
Bureau of Criminal Information & Analysis
Child Abuse Central Index
P.O. Box 903387
Sacramento, CA 94203-3879

Why am I listed in the CACI

If your name is listed in CACI it is because either you were found guilty of child abuse or severe child neglect in criminal or juvenile dependency court, or because CPS investigated a child abuse or severe child neglect allegation against you and concluded that the allegation is substantiated.

What does substantiated CPS report mean?

When a CPS investigator completes his or her report on a child abuse or severe child neglect allegation that CPS investigator will report to the DOJ whether that allegation is unfounded, substantiated, or inconclusive.

Unfounded CPS report: An unfounded report means that CPS determined that the child abuse or severe child neglect allegation is false, improbable, or does not legally constitute child abuse or severe child neglect by law.

Substantiated: A substantiated report means that CPS found, that more likely than not, the allegation of child abuse or severe child neglect, is true.

Inconclusive: An inconclusive report means that CPS determined that the allegations were neither unfounded, nor substantiated.

If CPS concludes that an allegation of child abuse or severe child neglect is substantiated then CPS will refer the substantiated report to the criminal or juvenile dependency court, and/or to the DOJ for listing on the CACI.

How to Remove Your Name from CACI

A persons listed in the CACI as a victim of child abuse or severe child neglect may have his or her name removed from the CACI after his or her eighteenth birthday. A person listed in the CACI as a suspect, who was a minor at the time of his or her CACI listing, may have his or her name removed ten years after his or her name was listed in the CACI. For persons listed on the CACI as an adult, a CACI grievance hearing may be requested wherein the CACI listed person may request removal of his or her name from the CACI.

The CACI grievance hearing

The government agency that referred your name for CACI listing (usually CPS) will send you a letter that informs you that you have a right to dispute your CACI name listing at a CACI grievance hearing. You have thirty days from the date listed on the letter in which to request your grievance hearing. Failure to timely respond to the letter will act as a waiver or your right to the hearing. Included in the letter are required response forms and information on the CACI and the grievance hearing procedures. You have a right to be represented by an attorney at the grievance hearing.

Note: If you have a current criminal or juvenile dependency court case pending you will not receive notice of your right to a grievance hearing until the criminal or juvenile dependency court case has resolved. Nevertheless, you should request a grievance hearing within thirty days of being formally charged with any child abuse or severe child neglect crime.

Note: With some limitations, if your name was placed on the CACI prior to March, 2008, you may be entitled to a grievance hearing even if more than thirty days has passed since your CACI name listing.

The grievance hearing is conducted by an administrative hearing officer who serves as the judge and jury. The hearing officer will receive and consider all legally admitted evidence from the referring agency (usually CPS) and you, the petitioner. Among other rights, you have the right to present evidence in your favor, a right to cross examine adverse witnesses, and a right to have an attorney represent you. The hearing officer will make a decision as to whether or not your name should remain listed on the CACI (as substantiated allegations) or removed from the CACI (as unfounded or inconclusive allegations)

Note: Attorneys are not provided at no cost for indigent persons in CACI hearings. The right to an attorney, even if a suspect/defendant cannot afford an attorney, only applies to criminal cases.

Appeal of the grievance hearing officer’s decision

To appeal a CACI grievance hearing decision the petitioner must file a writ of mandate in superior court. A writ of mandate is a review of the decision made by the grievance hearing officer in light of the evidence received and the procedural fairness implemented. A writ of mandate is not a new grievance hearing and no new evidence is presented to the superior court.

Defense at grievance hearings

Warning: The alleged facts included in a CPS referral to the DOJ for CACI name inclusion often constitute a criminal offense. For example, willful child endangerment, contributing to a minor’s delinquency, and lewd acts, are all common allegations in CPS reports that also serve as the basis for criminal charges. Generally speaking, a person under investigation for child abuse or severe child neglect should respectfully decline cooperation with CPS and/or law enforcement, raise his or her right to remain silent, and seek the advice a competent criminal defense attorney and/or family law attorney.

Common CPS defense issues include: 

Witness issues: Witness bias or prejudice, witness memory problems, witness trustworthiness (criminal history, dishonest reputation, prior false allegations, motive to fabricate, etc.), statement contamination (adopted, commingled, suggested, and/or inconsistent statements), MSP disorder, suggestibility of child witness, presentation of defense character witnesses.

Improper interrogation issues: Improper interview protocols implemented (leading, compound, argumentative, or repeated questions used to navigate responses and/or emotionally tax witnesses [very common]), coercing confessions and/or statements, use of duress or threats in questioning, misrepresenting facts and/or use of aggravation/mitigation technique by interviewer to overcome witness’ will to tell the truth (common in law enforcement), CPS investigator projecting personal definitions to ambiguous legal definitions of child abuse, sever neglect, failure to act, etc.

Legal issues: Problems with legal foundation, relevance, privilege, hearsay, etc., use of illegal evidence (unauthorized recordings, warrantless searches and seizures), lack of certifications by lab technicians on scientific evidence, improper handling, processing, and/or preserving of evidence.

Sloppy investigations: Failure to interview defense witnesses, failure to preserve evidence, failure to investigate alternative source of injury, confirmation bias directed investigation (goal oriented).

For more information on the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), or how to remove your name from the CACI, contact our experienced and aggressive attorneys for a free consultation today. The attorneys at Dorado & Dorado, APLC have successfully handled thousands of cases; our attorneys handle family law cases, including CPS defense, criminal defense, and juvenile dependency defense. Call today!

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Remove Your Name From the CACI

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Further CACI Resources & Info

CACI Grievance Hearing Address

San Bernardino County

1111 East Mill Street, Second Floor, San Bernardino, CA 92408

Riverside County

(Riverside County has multiple CACI grievance hearing locations. Contact our CACI grievance hearing defense lawyers for address, phone number, and contact information for Riverside CACI hearings)

Los Angeles County

(Los Angeles County has multiple CACI grievance hearing locations. Contact our CACI grievance hearing defense lawyers for address, phone number, and contact information for Los Angeles CACI hearings)

Remove Your Name From the CACI

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How to Remove Your Name From The Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)