Names on protection list hard to remove

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No day in court: Once on list, name is not easily removed; repercussions can be far-reaching. Hundreds of Alaska parents have been labeled as abusive or neglectful by state investigators, many of them without ever getting a chance to defend themselves in court. These parents weren't convicted of any crime. No judge or jury listened to the evidence and concluded they hurt a child. A child protection worker did and that was enough for the government to blacklist them from certain jobs working with children and, in some cases, from even being around kids.

Now a settlement in a civil rights lawsuit is giving these people a way to clear their name. Mark Ruby, 45, who lives near Wasilla, sued state officials last year in U.S. District Court, saying they branded him a child sex abuser without telling him and, when he discovered he was on the blacklist, allowed him only a minimal avenue of appeal.

source: Article 'Names on protection list hard to remove' by Lisa Demer;; Anchorage Daily News; 9 January 2006