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There is some case law talking about particularly if the parent has the right to counsel and whether DCF should interview the allegations and whether that would violate both federal and state constitutional rights to have an attorney.  There have been cases where even if the parents have made a full confession to DCF that […]

It still has not been completely consistent about how involved DCF would be if the parents using marijuana or even using other drugs or alcohol.  Part of what DCF looks at might be the amount, location and the impact on the parenting.  For example, if a parent is drinking significantly or using a significant amount […]

There are always some real problems with children not testifying and having their statements come into evidence.  A lot of the time, judges will use the child’s state of mind versus being substantive evidence.  It is tricky in terms of un-ringing bell that a judge would hear and a lot of the time they will […]

It is somewhat limited in terms what can occur. There have been some unpublished cases where some findings against the parent that keeps filing false allegations because has an impact on the child’s relationship with the other parent and it can be neglect.  There is not a lot of case law on this but the […]

It is somewhat limited in terms what can occur. There have been some unpublished cases where some findings against the parent that keeps filing false allegations because has an impact on the child’s relationship with the other parent and it can be neglect.  There is not a lot of case law on this but the […]

The answer is essentially no, but you can look under 110 CMR that would explain what can be appealed and what can’t be appealed.  The reason that sometimes parents want to appeal an unsupported is that they feel that it might be the other parent or someone else that is filing false allegations but appealing […]

They are determining that the risk of abuse or neglect is not necessarily significant enough as to support it but feels that there is still a reason for DCF to be involved with the family. You cannot appeal a substantiated concern but you can file a grievance and part of the reasoning for DCF perspective […]

It can “set the stage” rather than coming in for the truth of the matter. The 51B investigation report has more details and maybe objected to or allow, but that would not be to just set the stage.

In Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts if records are produced with an Order to Disclose from DCF the court has options of allowing the parties to review or copy the records. The records are unredacted so most of the time judge’s do not allow copies to be made originally. Many times, they will either […]

During this unprecedented time, it is extremely important to understand how COVID-19 is impacting different areas of the law. I am starting a series of newsletter articles, website blogs, and videos in which I will discuss how it has affected the areas of legal practice that I cover in Massachusetts.  At the moment, courthouses are […]