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Home / Opinions / Practice Area / Administrative Law / Administrative : Agency Jurisdiction – Neglect Claim – Investigation Deadline

Administrative : Agency Jurisdiction – Neglect Claim – Investigation Deadline

(1)Where a trial court found that a state agency lost jurisdiction over a complaint of neglect against a mother by failing to meet the 90-day deadline for investigations, the judgment is vacated because the court did not have authority to impose a sanction for noncompliance, which is a decision for the legislature.

(2)Where a mother who was the target of a neglect investigation claimed that the state agency’s failure to comply with the 90-day deadline for investigations was a violation of her right to due process, the mother’s name was never included on the central registry and she did not suffer a deprivation of property or liberty, so she did not show prejudice.


Statutory time frame

Dissenting opinion by Draper, J.: “Looking at the entirety of our statutory scheme, I believe the legislature intended only to provide the Children’s Division ninety days in which to take action against an alleged perpetrator. Since the Children’s Division failed to act within that statutorily articulated timeframe, it had no authority to place Mother’s name on the central registry.”

Judgment is vacated; remanded.

Frye v. Levy (MLW No. 66619/Case No. SC93471 – 38 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Wilson, J.; Russell, C.J., Breckenridge and Stith, JJ., concur; Draper, J., dissents in separate opinion filed; Fischer and Teitelman, JJ., concur in opinion of Draper, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Howell County, Ligons, J. (Gary L. Gardner, Jefferson City, for appellant) (George C. Fisher Jr., West Plains, for respondent).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)