Adjudication is the process by which the subject of a substantiated report of abuse or neglect may challenge those findings administratively.  The adjudication process is comprised of two units:  the Administrative Appeal Unit and the Administrative Hearing Unit. 

Administrative Appeals Unit

When requested by subjects of substantiated reports, the Administrative Appeal Unit reviews findings of substantiated abuse or neglect committed by those subjects.  The Administrative Appeal Unit reviews all related documents and materials in possession of the Justice Center to determine if a preponderance of the available evidence supports a finding that: (1) an act of abuse or neglect occurred; (2) the act was committed by the subject; and (3) which substantiation category is appropriate to the act of abuse or neglect.  The Administrative Appeal Unit will affirm a substantiated finding when supported by a preponderance of the evidence or will overturn a substantiated finding where not supported by a preponderance of the evidence or may amend a finding to a lower substantiation category, where appropriate.  When a finding is upheld or amended, a subject has a right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  When a finding is overturned, the information regarding the substantiated finding will be sealed.  The Administrative Appeal Unit will notify a subject in writing regardless of the outcome.

*For additional information about the Administrative Appeal process, please refer to the FAQ. 

Administrative Hearing Unit

When requested by subjects of substantiated reports, the Administrative Hearing Unit conducts hearing on substantiated findings that were previously upheld by the Administrative Appeal Unit.  The hearings are conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  At a hearing, the burden of proof is on the Justice Center to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that: (1) an act of abuse or neglect occurred; (2) the act was committed by the subject; and (3) which substantiation category is appropriate to the act of abuse or neglect.  At the conclusion of a hearing, the ALJ drafts a report of findings and recommendations and forwards that report and the hearing record to the Executive Director of the Justice Center or his Designee.  The Executive Director or Designee reviews the findings, the recommendations, and the hearing record in order to reach a final determination.  The final determination may uphold substantiated findings, in whole or in part, if supported by a preponderance of the evidence or may overturn substantiated findings, in whole or in part, where not supported by a preponderance of the evidence or may amend a finding to a lower substantiation category, where appropriate.  The Justice Center will notify a subject in writing regardless of the outcome.  The final determination of the Executive Director or Designee is embodied in an Order and is not subject to further administrative review.  Should a subject seek to contest the Order, a subject may do so by application to the New York State Supreme Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.     

*For additional information about the Administrative Hearing process, please refer to the FAQ.