Chicago partner Bill Essig and Chicago associate Liz Christen obtained an expungement for a mother wrongfully accused of child abuse by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in a case referred to the firm through the Family Defense Center’s pro bono program.

On December 29, the DCFS director issued a final decision that he concurred with the ALJ’s recommendation and opinion that the DCFS had not supported the indication of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence in the hearing, and that the indication of abuse has now been expunged from the DCFS record.

Our client was thrilled with the expungement, as she has recently obtained a master’s degree in social work. She had previously been rejected for employment because she had been listed on the state central register, which is no longer the case after the expungement.

The Family Defense Center, a nonprofit public interest legal advocacy organization that advocates for children and families in the child welfare system with a particular focus on due process rights, is one of the firm’s pro bono partner organizations in Chicago.