How to Expunge a Closed CPS Case


A state's child protective services (CPS) investigates reports of child abuse and/or neglect. Following an investigation, records are classified according to the state's statutory language. The terms denoting true allegations include confirmed, founded or indicated. The terms unsubstantiated, unfounded or unconfirmed are used to describe reports where no abuse or neglect were found. Regardless of the results of CPS cases, states include names of individuals investigated in a registry used for background checks. Under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), to receive funding states must provide a way for you to expunge false or unfounded case records.

  • Research state laws on CPS expungement. Each state has different regulations you must follow to expunge your old CPS case. You must, for instance in Alabama, wait five years and have no other opened or closed CPS cases before you can expunge your record.

  • File a request with the state department over the CPS cases. State regulations, such as the ones in Vermont, require you to file a written request to expunge your name and information.

  • Appear at the hearing. You may have to attend a hearing to present evidence like witnesses and information that supports your request for expungement.


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