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August 30, 2013

COA holds that mother must exhaust administrative remedies before name could be expunged from DHS registry

The Department of Human Services maintains a central registry.  MCL 722.627 provides administrative procedures, within DHS, for registered citizens to petition to remove their names from the central registry.  In In the Matter of Harper, the Court of Appeals held that a citizen must first exhaust these administrative remedies under the statute before the courts may intervene.  The mother-petitioner attempted to rely on more general statutory grants of authority, including MCL 7712A.6 (granting the probate court authority) and MCL 712A.17d (granting powers to guardian ad litems), but the Court held that these more general grants of authority did not change the fact that MCL 722.627 lodged the administrative process for expungement with DHS.  The Court vacated the trial court’s order expunging the petitioner’s name, and remanded the matter.

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