- November 2011
- Vol. 12, No. 8
Dealing With Lost or Destroyed Child Welfare Records
"Where are the Records? Handling Lost/Destroyed Records in Child Welfare Tort Litigation," an article in the journal ABA Child Law Practice, discusses the issues involved in the duty to preserve child welfare case records. Records that can be used as evidence in child welfare cases include agency records, law enforcement notes, and medical and therapist reports. When these records are lost, destroyed, or altered, the agency responsible for retaining them can face an array of consequences, including criminal prosecution, civil sanctions, disciplinary actions, and monetary penalties. This article provides a thorough overview of statutes and regulations of the types of actions that can be pursued and the possible consequences for lost or destroyed records. The article also provides guidance to plaintiff's attorneys on how to access records, as well as to agency attorneys on how to work with agencies on the proper retention of records.
The article, written by Dale Margolin and Daniel Pollack, was published in the August 2011 (Vol. 30, No. 6) issue of the journal ABA Child Law Practice and can be purchased online: