This is the next post in my series on dealing with false Child Protective Services (CPS) claims in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed immediate steps to take after a false CPS allegation. It is important that you take the allegations seriously as you can rest assured that a Judge will. Failing to give the matter the attention it deserves can result in a prolonged legal battle with possible negative consequences. In this post I will discuss how the Clark County Family Court will often respond to allegations which have been shown to be false. If you require assistance then it is strongly suggested that you contact a lawyer immediately.
In my last article I discussed the fact that the Department of Family Services (DFS) will immediately launch an investigation once the claim is filed. How the Family Court Judge will respond will depend on whether the claim is immediately unsubstantiated or whether DFS finds that there is reason for a case to be brought in Abuse & Neglect Court. I will discuss each of these scenarios in turn.
If the claim is immediately unsubstantiated then the Abuse & Neglect Court will not hear the case. This means that the Family Court Judge will immediately entertain any requests to modify custody, visitation, or other arrangements. How the Court will proceed is always going to depend on the specific facts of your situation. With that being said, it is important to understand that, as I explain in a future article, the Court may be inclined to change custody due to the fact that false allegations were made. Under the Mack-Manley decision a Court may find that a parent is not acting in the best interests of the child when they file allegations and such a finding can result in the accusing parent receiving a lesser share of custody.
If the matter is “substantiated” and the case proceeds to an Abuse & Neglect hearing then the Court will likely defer hearing any matters related to custody while the Abuse & Neglect matter is pending. This is due to the fact that Clark County Judges generally adhere to the idea of “one family/one judge” – this means that a Judge will typically not rule on a matter that is pending before another Judge. The Abuse & Neglect will make a temporary ruling regarding placement of the child and jurisdiction over the matter will likely remain with the Abuse & Neglect Judge until those proceedings are resolved. Upon resolution of the case, the Family Court Judge will typically resume jurisdiction over the matter.
If you have been subjected to a false claim then it is vital that you contact an experienced Las Vegas CPS attorney immediately. I have experience in handling such matters and my office is ready to assist you. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer.