How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
71563194
Type Your Legal Question Here...
CalAttorney2 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need your help! I am currently a NYS licensed childcare

Customer Question

My name is ***** ***** I need your help!
I am currently a NYS licensed childcare provider for 16 years. A non contractual parent alleged that my daycare does not have competent supervision. This is misleading and is costing me potential clients. After thorough investigation by the Office of Children and Family Services (O.C.F.S), the allegation was unsubstantiated but O.C.F.S posted it to their website anyway. They intend to keep the post up for the next 2 YEARS! Is this legal? What can I do about this unsubstantiated allegation that is posted on the website. It is damaging my livelihood. I've written to the commissioner of O.C.F.S and my letter was ignored. Can you please help me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

You are absolutely right, there should not be a posting because there was no violation (OCFS posts violations, not complaints, for 2 years).

However, the way to go about dealing with this issue is much more complex (OCFS is one of those bureaucratic organizations that does not have an appeals process identified to deal with an improper posting), and you have already tried reasonable measures to get them to remove this.

Your best option here (and I say this understanding people do not come to the site to be told "go hire a lawyer") is to retain a local attorney to represent you before the OCSF. This should not be a very expensive representation - you really are just retaining them to provide you some additional leverage so that they will stop bullying you (you are not hiring them to engage in a long drawn out litigation process) the goal is to get your business back to being profitable, so this should be viewed as an investment. Unfortunately you cannot recover these expenses or the money lost due to OCFS' improper posting.

You can find local general practice (or better yet "administrative law") attorneys using the State and Local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks William.
I am reaching out to you again because I cannot afford representation. I have not received a response to my letter to the Commissioner 2 months ago requesting the removal of their post. How can I ensure that a lawyer can cause them to remove the post? Do you have a sample letter with ideas of how to communicate to them? Is their action considered libel against me and or my business? How can I let them know that they are being vague concerning "violations and complaints"
Thanks
Sandria
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You will want to contact a local Administrative Law Attorney - the reason is that they will have a better idea of who exactly to direct the complaint against than I can offer you in a "general information" forum.

As I noted above, the OCFS is not interpreting their code properly, but there isn't an administrative appeal process in place to deal with it.

Your remedy is to file a lawsuit against them for breach of the administrative procedure act - but this isn't going to compensate you for anything (I understand that money is a significant factor, and I don't want to send you off to spend a huge sum of money on a lawsuit that will not be concluded until after the 2 years has already passed).

The goal with hiring a local attorney is that hopefully they will already be in touch with (or know) the individuals at issue - you can improve your chances of finding the right attorney by screening them upfront - start by looking for administrative law attorneys (they do not even have to be in your same community - they can be anywhere in the state of NY - usually these attorneys/firms tend to be in the state capitol, so look in the Albany region)

When you contact the firm ask if they have recent work/experience with OCFS - this will let you know how good their familiarity/contact is with the agency.

You are then going to rely on that attorney to make a few phone calls or write a letter or two on your behalf. (This should limit how much is spent on legal fees).

Tell the attorney upfront how much you have available to spend.

(The state is not going to be liable to you for libel or any other defamation/interference with potential economic advantage claims).