Child care centers and family child care homes in San Jose and greater Santa Clara County must balance the demands of burdensome regulations with pragmatic business considerations. Accordingly, some facilities commit technical regulatory violations such as being over capacity or out of ratio. While these violations are relatively minor they may nevertheless prompt regulatory scrutiny from an overly aggressive LPA or C.C.L. regional office. Unfortunately, such scrutiny often leads to several citations and even the issuance of an Accusation seeking revocation of the child care license. If this occurs the licensee will need to hire a license defense attorney right away due to strict deadlines.
An Accusation is formal notice that the Department of Social Services is initiating an administrative proceeding to revoke your child care license. If you do not respond by filing a Notice of Defense before a certain deadline you will forfeit your license. However, if you (or preferably your attorney) file a Notice of Defense and request Discovery before certain deadlines a hearing will be scheduled with the Office of Administrative Hearings. The hearing itself will serve as a trial after which an Administrative Law Judge will issue a proposed decision with regard to your license.
Many child care licensees make the mistake of representing themselves and filing the Notice of Defense without counsel. Unfortunately, a quick review of decisions relied upon as precedent makes clear that nearly all licensees who represent themselves lose at hearing. In contrast, having an attorney represent you at the beginning, confirm representation with D.S.S. and communicate on your behalf with the Department’s Legal Division sends a strong message that you will present a professional & well researched defense unlike less sophisticated pro se defendants. This message can even be strong enough to sway the Department’s Legal Division to accept a settlement agreement that allows continued operation under a probationary license in lieu of hearing.
To receive a free phone consultation call attorney Michael Benavides at (916) 596-1018.