The Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) derives most of its authority from two specific sections of state law—Title 9 and Title 30 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes. While DCPP often pursues cases under both titles simultaneously, the former of the two specifically applies to cases in which a parent or guardian is suspected of engaging in substantial abuse or neglect of a child in their care.

Title 9 child abuse and neglect DCPP cases in Hackensack are not criminal matters, so an unfavorable verdict against a defendant parent or guardian will not result directly in criminal penalties. However, the DCPP may pursue the removal of an endangered child from the defendant parent or guardian’s care, so anyone dealing with this kind of claim should prioritize speaking with a well-practiced child abuse attorney as soon as possible.

What Could Prompt a Title 9 DCPP Case?

Title 9 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes is set up to allow state officials within the DCPP to quickly address verifiable instances of child abuse and/or neglect. This is in contrast to the somewhat slower proceedings that Title 30 cases often go through. According to current court precedent, abuse and neglect in this context can entail any of the following if they impact a child under 18 under non-accidental circumstances:

  • Serious physical injury resulting in disfigurement, dismemberment, or death, or ongoing risk of such an injury
  • Sexual abuse either committed or knowingly allowed by the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s)
  • Physical, emotional, or mental impairment caused by a parent or guardian’s neglect to adequately provide for a child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care
  • Using excessive corporal punishment, excessive physical restraint, or unreasonably inflicting harm on a child through other means
  • Unwarranted institutionalization
  • Abandonment

Importantly, Title 9 cases regarding child abuse or neglect in Hackensack are always fact-based and generally require the DCPP to present extensive evidence of one or more of the aforementioned issues for the case to continue.

Title 9 Court Case Procedures in Hackensack

If the DCPP elects to remove a child from a purportedly dangerous home, the agency will file an Order to Show Cause immediately afterward to request temporary protective measures for the child from the court.

Depending on the circumstances, the court may mandate several additional court hearings prior to the Title 9 hearing to check in on the case and monitor developments. Once the Title 9 fact-finding hearing begins, the DCPP generally must prove through a preponderance of evidence that the alleged abuse or neglect occurred. There are also some situations in which the burden of proof falls on the defendants instead. Under these circumstances, a resourceful attorney could assist the individuals in gathering appropriate evidence to help their case.

An Attorney Could Help Contest a Title 9 Child Abuse and Neglect DCPP Case in Hackensack

No matter what allegations lead to DCPP pursuing a Title 9 claim, the consequences of the ensuing case could be life-altering for everyone involved. Effectively defending yourself and your rights could be crucial not only to protect your future interests but possibly your family’s, as well.

A qualified legal professional could help pursue an optimal outcome to a Title 9 abuse and neglect DCPP case in Hackensack. Call today to discuss your options.