In March of 2018, Ray & Bishop won a highly contested Department of Social Services case on behalf of a preschool teacher in Orange County who was accused of conduct inimical and of violating the personal rights of children in her care. We’ve previously discussed the definitions of “conduct inimical” and “personal rights” on our blog, specifically how important it is to retain experienced counsel when the Department accuses a caregiver of these serious violations.
In this case, a caregiver was videotaped while directing a child to sit still and to pay attention. The Department used the video as evidence against the teacher, alleging that the client violated the child’s rights by restraining the child and picking up the child and moving the child away from the other children. This video was introduced at evidence at the caregiver’s administrative proceeding.
Thanks to strong character evidence from our caregiver, and a thorough, effective cross-examination of the Department’s Licensing Program Analyst (LPA), who testified against our client, the Administrative Law Judge found that our client had done nothing wrong, and the Accusation and Exclusion Action against our client were dismissed. This Proposed Decision was adopted by DSS, and our client was officially cleared.
Regular readers of our blog know that on several occasions, we have discussed the legal impact of a Proposed Decision, the agency’s rationale when they decide not to adopt the Proposed Decision, and our clients’ rights when a Proposed Decision is non-adopted. In this case, our client achieved a far better result than the agency was willing to accept before hearing, but the agency adopted the ALJ’s decision in its entirety. That’s why hearing experience is important in every administrative matter.
We have extensive experience defending caregivers, teachers, and child care providers before the Department of Social Services. Contact our firm for a consultation if you face discipline from the DSS.