In 2006, the Arizona legislature passed a bill to create the APS Registry which took effect July 1, 2007. The public registry contains the name and date of birth of the person determined to have abused, neglected or exploited a vulnerable adult and the description of the allegation made. The names of the vulnerable adult and the reporter are not listed on the registry.
The purpose of the APS Registry is to prevent vulnerable adults and children from being victimized by individuals who have been found, through an APS investigation and due process, to have abused, neglected or exploited a vulnerable adult.
Employers are encouraged to review the registry when deciding whether to employ a person to provide care for vulnerable populations. The decision to hire a person listed on the APS Registry is solely up to the employer.
Searching the Registry
You can search the APS Registry through the Arizona Department of Health Services AZ Care Check. You can search by first name, last name, date of birth or by case information. The registry is updated twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
What is the process for placing a name on the APS registry?
When an investigation is complete, the investigator reviews all the information gathered and, in discussion with the supervisor, determines whether there is evidence to support that the alleged perpetrator (the person alleged to have committed the maltreatment) was responsible for the maltreatment. If so, the recommendation is made to “substantiate” the allegation.
The standard of proof for substantiation is “a preponderance of evidence,” or that the evidence shows it is more likely than not that the maltreatment happened. This is a lower standard of proof than in a criminal proceeding.
If the determination is made to recommend substantiation, the information is sent to the Appeals Unit who refers the information to the Office of the Attorney General. The Office of the Attorney General reviews the evidence and provides guidance on whether to pursue substantiating the allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
View a visual of the APS investigation to substantiation process chart.
Is the alleged perpetrator notified if their name goes on the registry?
Yes. When the recommendation is to pursue substantiation, APS is required per A.R.S. § 46-458 to notify the alleged perpetrator of the decision to pursue substantiation. The alleged perpetrator can request an administrative hearing, if eligible.
What is an Administrative Hearing?
An Administrative Hearing is a time for both the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the alleged perpetrator to present their cases before a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearing. The alleged perpetrator is given an opportunity to explain to an administrative law judge why they should not be placed on the registry and can show any supporting documents to support their case.
The administrative law judge hears the case and provides a ruling or using the preponderance of evidence burden of proof, per A.R.S. § 46-458. The ruling may be upheld, amended, or rejected by the Director of the Department of Economic Security.
When the proposed substantiation is upheld through the hearing process, the perpetrator’s name is placed on the registry.
Administrative Hearing Eligibility
If the alleged perpetrator declines their right to an administrative hearing--does not respond to the hearing or attend the hearing-- their name is placed on the registry.
When another court or administrative law judge has already made findings regarding the alleged maltreatment, a perpetrator does not qualify for an administrative hearing and the perpetrator is placed on the registry.
How long will an alleged perpetrator’s name be listed on the APS Registry?
In 2015, HB2021 extended the length of time a person’s name remains on the APS Registry from 10 years to 25 years if the perpetrator’s name was placed on the registry on or after July 3, 2015. If the perpetrator’s name was placed on the registry prior to July 3, 2015, their name will remain on the registry for 10 years.
Can a name be removed from the APS Registry?
Once an administrative hearing has taken place, the individual may file a motion with the DES for a review within thirty days of receiving the final decision. The reason for requesting a rehearing or review will be considered by DES in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and a decision will be provided to the appellant within fifteen days.
If an appellant requests a hearing but fails to appear or is unable to attend and has not contacted the Office of Administrative Hearings, the appellant will be placed on the registry.
Once a name is placed on the registry and all administrative appeal avenues have been exhausted, it is recommended that an appellant explore legal advice to consider civil court options that may be available to them.
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Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADES does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable modification based on language or disability should submit a request as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the modification. The process for requesting a reasonable modification can be found at Equal Opportunity and Reasonable Modification.