Chelle Law provides an Arizona adult protective Services Hearing Attorney to represent individuals before the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Arizona Adult Protective Services (APS) is a program within the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) which is overseen by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) which has the responsibility to investigate allegations of abuse, exploitation and neglect of vulnerable adults. APS will investigate claims of abuse or neglect of adults including not providing food, shelter, health care, mismanaging personal finances, etc.
Arizona APS Registry
The APS Registry is a database which contains the name and date of birth of people with substantiated claims of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The APS registry includes the nature of the allegation made, the date and description of the disposition of the allegation.
APS Abuse Investigation
Once the APS receives an allegation of abuse they will initiate an investigation. After the investigation is complete the APS staff determines whether evidence exists to support the allegations. As an administrative agency APS must find that the evidence shows it is more likely than not that the abuse took place. This is a lower standard of proof than in a criminal proceeding, which requires beyond a reasonable doubt. A substantiated claim is then sent to the Arizona Office of the Attorney General for guidance. At this point, the individual has the right to request an administrative hearing; however, if they choose not to appeal their name is placed on the APS Registry.
Adult Protective Services Administrative Hearing
Any Adult Protective Services Hearing is conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ“). The hearing is not as formal as a trial, but it is similar. Each party will present evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening statement and a closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. The attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on her own behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ will review the transcripts, evidence and make a recommendation to DES. The ALJ’s ruling may be upheld, amended, or rejected by the Director of the Department of Economic Security. A request for a rehearing can be submitted within 30 days of receiving the final DES decision. If the claim of abuse is upheld after the OAH Hearing the person’s name is placed on the APS Registry.
APS Registry Removal
Once a name is placed on the APS Registry and all administrative appeal avenues have been exhausted, it is recommended that an appellant seek legal advice to consider civil court remedies that may be available to them. Arizona law holds that DES shall maintain an abuse report in the APS Registry for 25 years after the date of entry. Any person who was the subject of an adult protective services investigation may request confirmation that DES has purged information about the person. On receipt of this request, DES shall provide the person with written confirmation that DES has no record containing identifying information about that person.
If you have questions for our Arizona Adult Protective Services Hearing Attorney and would like to learn more about the services we offer contact Chelle Law today.