Articles Posted in Fair Hearings

On July 9, 2019 KM, a 45 year old Manager at a large Defense Contractor was arrested at his home in Andover by the police and charged with Witness Intimidation and Malicious Destruction of Property (a cell phone). KM and his wife had had an argument over KM’s texting with another woman. The argument got heated and when KM’s wife went to call 911 KM took her phone and smashed it preventing her from calling the police. KM and his wife have two young children who were asleep at the time the argument started but were awakened by the smashing of the phone. Ultimately KM’s wife went to a second phone and called 911. The police responded to the house and arrested KM. In addition the police reported the incident to DCF (the Department of Children and Families). DCF did an investigation and determined that KM had neglected his two children.

KM interviewed several attorneys. KM had an initial free consult with Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. The consult was almost two hours. KM then retained Attorney Lewin and Attorney Lewin went to work on both cases (the criminal case and the DCF case). On October 30, 2019 the criminal case was dismissed in Lawrence District Court.

The finding of “neglect” by DCF could have dramatic consequences for KM; he could be prevented from participating in school events for his two children and his security clearance at work could be affected. Attorney Lewin appealed the finding of neglect. A “Fair Hearing” was scheduled for December 19, 2019.  Attorney Lewin prepared KM and his wife to testify at the hearing. Attorney Lewin prepared a thorough and detailed Memorandum for the Fair Hearing Officer detailing why the decision was wrong and needed to be overturned. On December 19, 2019 KM, his wife, and Attorney Lewin appeared at the DCF Office in Lawrence for the hearing. KM and his wife both testified. Attorney Lewin argued that “one loud argument between a husband and wife that woke the children up should not lead to one of the parents being branded a perpetrator of neglect”.

KT, a 48 year old male graphic designer, was accused by the 5 year old daughter of a female friend of touching her in her private area. She also said that he had her touch him. The five year old reported this to a social worker (a mandated reporter) who in turn reported the allegation to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The initial report of abuse was made to DCF on December 10, 2018. DCF conducted an investigation and on January 9, 2019 DCF supported the allegation. KT received a “perpetrator letter” from DCF informing him that an allegation of sexual abuse had been made against him and that after investigation DCF supported the allegation.

KT met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover for an extensive (2 hour) initial consultation. Attorney Lewin explained in detail the Appeal Process – which is called a “Fair Hearing”. KT retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin – through discovery – obtained full copies of the initial report of abuse (called the 51A report) and the full DCF investigation report (called the 51B report). Attorney Lewin took a full statement of the facts from KT.

In order for DCF to support the allegation there must be evidence and proof that KT was a “caregiver” to the child “at the time in question”. Attorney Lewin prepared and submitted to the Fair Hearing Officer a comprehensive Memorandum setting forth all of the legal arguments in KT’s behalf. In the Memorandum Attorney Lewin argued – among other things – that the evidence did NOT establish that KT was a “caregiver” to the child.

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