can I deny child protective services from inspecting my house after a false allegation

UPDATED: May 15, 2009

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can I deny child protective services from inspecting my house after a false allegation

son’s wife in revenge has named everyone one in my home as enabling a sex offender to have access to my granddaughter. the childs mom already saw the cps worker, the rest have not. been through this before, can I stop them?

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Cooperating with CPS can be just like cooperating with the police.  It generally buys you nothing.  When CPS investigators come to your door, you do not have to let them in the house, unless they have a search warrant.  All of your constitutional rights are in force, and you need to protect them.
Get the investigator's name and business card if possible. Speak as little as possible and as politely as possible. Close the door as soon as you are able and contact your attorney right away.

Before closing the door, ask what the allegations are.  CPS will not give you a copy of the report but will generally tell you what the allegations are.  Ask the investigator to read the report to you and write it down word for word.  If possible, ask to record the conversation.

The CPS investigator may say she can't tell you the allegations unless you let her in the house.  That's a lie, and CPS investigators are not beyond lying to get what they want out of you.  They will bluff and try to intimidate you. Ignore all such actions.  They will do anything to get into your house in order to snoop around and in order to talk to your children.  Never let them talk to your children, unless a court forces you to or your lawyer advises you to.

Once CPS leaves and you have contacted your attorney, begin gathering any evidence you can to refute the false charges.  These may include medical, dental and psychiatric records.  If the allegations involve abuse, ask your lawyer about getting your child an immediate physical examination with accompanying photographs.  If the false allegations involve a specific day and time, try to remember what you were doing at that time.  If you were with other people, call them and ask them to be witnesses.

It's enormously important that you know all of your state's laws regarding Child Protective Services, neglect, abuse, as well as your rights under your state's constitution and the United States' constitution.  Learning these laws now, before anyone falsely accuses you, will save you a lot of trouble in the future.  And don't assume your lawyer knows the law.  Make sure both you and he know the law.  Retaining an attorney who specializes in family law would be a good start.  If money is an issue, then contact your local legal aid office.
There are brochures on NY's Child Protective Services.  Call and get one or check online.  The more informed you are, the better off you will be. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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