The State of Michigan keeps a list of people who have abused or neglected children in the state. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) keeps this list. It is called the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry.
The Central Registry cannot be publicly searched. It can be viewed only by certain employers, agencies, state officials, and individuals to whom MDHHS has given permission. People who are on the Central Registry because they have been accused of abuse or neglect have a right to see the record, but the name of the person who reported the abuse may be kept confidential.
How Are Names Added to the Central Registry?
If a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation shows by a preponderance of evidence that you abused or neglected a child, your name will be added to the list. Your name can go on this list even without a criminal conviction.
The registry lists the following information:
- The names and birthdates of people who abused or neglected a child
- The names and birthdates of children who were abused or neglected
- The names of other adults or children who were in a home with an abused or neglected child but were not involved in the abuse or neglect
- The type of abuse or neglect that happened
- The date of the incident
- The county where the incident happened
When your name is added to the Central Registry, you will get a letter from MDHHS telling you the following:
- You have the right to review the case record
- Who can view your name on the Central Registry
- What to do if you disagree with your name being listed on the Central Registry
Some CPS investigations lead to the filing of a court petition, which starts a child protection proceeding in court. If the state dismisses its petition, or if a judge or jury finds the claims are untrue, your name will be removed from the list. To learn more about child protection proceedings, read CPS and Your Family.
Can I Get My Name off the Central Registry?
If you disagree with the MDHHS decision to list your name on the Central Registry, write a letter to the MDHHS director in the county where the investigation occurred. Ask that your name be removed from the list. If your request is denied, MDHHS will schedule an administrative hearing. MDHHS will tell you the date, time, and location of the hearing. At the hearing, an administrative law judge will decide if your name will be removed from the Central Registry.
If your name was placed on the Central Registry on or after March 31, 2015, you must make your written request within 180 days (six months) after you were notified that your name was placed on the Central Registry. This deadline can be extended 60 days for good cause.
If your request and appeal were denied and the abuse or neglect falls under CPS Categories I or II, your name will stay on the Central Registry for ten years. You may have to ask MDHHS in writing to remove your name at the end of ten years. For information about the CPS categories of abuse and neglect, read CPS and Your Family.
If the abuse and neglect involved certain very serious harm, such as sexual abuse or serious physical injury, your name will stay on the Central Registry for your lifetime.