The CPS Hearing

Child Protective Services Hearing Process

Defending the CPS Fair Hearing

Becoming the subject of a CPS investigation can be one of the most frustrating and stressful experiences a parent or family can endure. Often parents and families will feel like they are being treated unfairly, that their home is being intruded upon, that their words are being twisted and used against them, and that they do not have an understanding of the process.

Often the situation is made worse by another parent trying to use the CPS investigation to their advantage in a child custody or divorce case, or by the children making false or exaggerated claims against their own parents.

At Riebling & Payton, PLLC, our Westchester County CPS defense attorneys strive to help parents and individuals understand the entire process and protect their rights. As soon as you learn that you are the subject of a CPS investigation, you should immediately contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys for help.

As with many types of cases, it is not advisable to speak with CPS, DSS or ACS without first speaking to one of our CPS defense lawyers. Call for a Free Consultation (914) 712-6878.

The “Indicated” Report in Westchester County

At the conclusion of their investigation, CPS or ACS will make a finding. If “indicated,” the indicated party has the right to request that the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) review the case file and amend (change) the report to unfounded. In reality, this rarely happens. So, in most cases, the matter is forwarded to an Administrative Law Judge for a “fair hearing.”

Note: A report will be "indicated" if an investigation determines that some credible evidence of alleged abuse or maltreatment exists. This is a very low standard.

The Fair Hearing and Issues Reviewed

During the hearing, the County Attorney has the burden of proving maltreatment occurred by a fair preponderance of evidence. If the County Attorney fails to meet this burden then the report will be amended to "unfounded" and sealed. If the County Attorney meets the burden the indicated report will not be amended and its existence is subject to disclosure to licensing and provider agencies making inquiry about the individual.

If you or a loved one is subject to an indicated finding by CPS or ACS, please call the CPS defense attorneys at Riebling & Payton, PLLC to learn how we can protect your rights. We will analyze your case, go through the process, explain your options, and defend you at the fair hearing.

Prevailing at the Fair Hearing

Our CPS defense lawyers regularly represent clients in all OCFS cases. Our record of success is based on diligent preparation and investigation. We always take the time to properly review the case with our clients, speak to relevant witnesses, and conference the matter with the county attorney.

Free Consultations with Lead Attorneys Riebling & Payton

Riebling & Payton, PLLC are Westchester Family Law attorneys whose offices are conveniently located in White Plains, NY and Mount Kisco, NY. From these locations, we are able to schedule immediate appointments with our clients and appear on all matters in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties.

  • Marcia  Payton Photo
    Marcia Payton
    Marcia began her legal career by working as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, prosecuting criminal cases in the country's finest and most highly regarded District Attorney's Office - New York County. It was here that Marcia worked with police officers and detectives and learned how a criminal investigation is handled from arrest to trial. Marcia successfully prosecuted thousands of criminal cases while working in the Office of Special Narcotics in New York City, presenting ...
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    Stephen J. Riebling
    “The Court has to say, I have been impressed by Mr. Riebling’s knowledge … and his grasp of the records in this case. It is beyond any that I have seen in any kind of a case similar to this. I am just saying, it’s part of my thinking that someone with your knowledge would be able to understand these things certainly better than I am and perhaps most laymen or even attorneys…” - Westchester Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary Judge Neary was the presiding judge in the murder trial of Lacey Spears. ...
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