The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33: Human Services

Chapter 49: CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

Sub-Chapter 02: Reporting Abuse Of Children

33 V.S.A. § 4916c. Petition for expungement from the Registry



§ 4916c. Petition for expungement from the Registry

(a) A person whose name has been placed on the Registry prior to July 1, 2009 and has been listed on the Registry for at least three years may file a written request with the Commissioner, seeking a review for the purpose of expunging an individual Registry record. A person whose name has been placed on the Registry on or after July 1, 2009 and has been listed on the Registry for at least seven years may file a written request with the Commissioner seeking a review for the purpose of expunging an individual Registry record. The Commissioner shall grant a review upon request.

(b) The person shall have the burden of proving that a reasonable person would believe that he or she no longer presents a risk to the safety or well-being of children. Factors to be considered by the Commissioner shall include:

(1) The nature of the substantiation that resulted in the person's name being placed on the Registry.

(2) The number of substantiations, if more than one.

(3) The amount of time that has elapsed since the substantiation.

(4) The circumstances of the substantiation that would indicate whether a similar incident would be likely to occur.

(5) Any activities that would reflect upon the person's changed behavior or circumstances, such as therapy, employment, or education.

(6) References that attest to the person's good moral character.

(c) At the review, the person who requested the review shall be provided with the opportunity to present any evidence or other information, including witnesses, that supports his or her request for expungement. Upon the person's request, the review may be held by teleconference.

(d) A person may seek a review under this section no more than once every 36 months.

(e) Within 30 days of the date on which the Commissioner mailed notice of the decision pursuant to this section, a person may appeal the decision to the Human Services Board. The person shall be prohibited from challenging his or her substantiation at such hearing, and the sole issue before the board shall be whether the Commissioner abused his or her discretion in denial of the petition for expungement. The hearing shall be on the record below, and determinations of credibility of witnesses made by the Commissioner shall be given deference by the Board.

(f) The Department shall take steps to provide reasonable notice to persons on the Registry of their right to seek an expungement under this section. Actual notice is not required. Reasonable steps may include activities such as the production of an informative fact sheet about the expungement process, posting of such information on the Department website, and other approaches typically taken by the Department to inform the public about the Department's activities and policies. The Department shall send notice of the expungement process to any person listed on the Registry for whom a Registry check has been requested. (Added 2007, No. 77, § 1, eff. June 7, 2007; amended 2007, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)