Chelle Law represent individuals during Arizona adult protective services hearings. These hearings happen 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.) It’s overseen by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), which is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, exploitation and neglect of vulnerable adults. APS investigates claims of abuse or neglect of adult. This can include 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
When the APS receives an allegation of abuse they initiate an investigation. Once the investigation is complete APS staff determines whether evidence exists to support the allegations. APS must find evidence showing it’s more likely than not 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 don’t appeal their name is then put on the APS Registry.
Adult Protective Services Administrative Hearing
All Adult Protective Services Hearings are conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings. These hearings occur before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). While the hearing is not as formal as a trial, it is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening statement and closing argument. Both of these should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other.
This is where having an attorney is crucial. An attorney cross examines witnesses and testify on his or her own behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation to DES. The Director of the Department of Economic Security can uphold, amend or reject the ALJ’s ruling. Within 30 days of receiving this decision an attorney can then submit a request for a rehearing. Should DES uphold a claim of abuse, the name of the person is then put on the APS Registry.
APS Registry Removal
An appellant with their name on the APS Registry and no administrative appeal avenues available should seek legal advice. An attorney can help in discovering possible civil court remedies available. Arizona law holds that DES shall maintain an abuse report in the APS Registry for 25 years after the date of entry. Any person subject of an adult protective services investigation may request confirmation 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.