Michigan lawyer Paula Aylward, who received many accolades in 2013 and 2014, when asked what could be done to stop harassment--a co-parent making serial and groundless reports to Child Protective Services, triggering CPS investigations, interviews and visits to the children's school and to the other co-parent's home--reports that over the course of nearly a half-dozen visits in a nine-month period resulted in the accusations being unsubstantiated, said this:
"Yes. First, you should ask CPS to report Dad's groundless reporting to the local FOC per MCL 722.628(20). That section of the Child Protection Law provides:
"(20) Child protective services may report to the local friend of the court office any situation in which a parent, more than 3 times within 1 year or on 5 cumulative reports over several years, made unfounded reports to child protective services regarding alleged child abuse or neglect of his or her child.
"You should also see if CPS (or local police) will prosecute Dad for the false reporting per MCL 722.633 which provides:
"(5) A person who intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or neglect under this act knowing that the report is false is guilty of a crime as follows:
(a) If the child abuse or neglect reported would not constitute a crime or would constitute a misdemeanor if the report were true, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.
(b) If the child abuse or neglect reported would constitute a felony if the report were true, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by the lesser of the following:
(i) The penalty for the child abuse or neglect falsely reported.
(ii) Imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both."
Recognizing Paula A. Aylward (P60757), Allegiant Legal, PC in Marshall, MI 49068.
* 2014 Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Women in the Law" awardee * 2014 Parent Attorney of the Year * 2013 and 2014 Cummiskey Pro Bono Award nominee * 2013 State Bar of Michigan "A Lawyer Helps" pro bono recognition * Accredited to practice Veterans' benefits law *