Valerie Williams v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Annotate this Case
ca03-732

ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

DIVISION IV

VALERIE WILLIAMS,

APPELLANT

v.

ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,

APPELLEE

CA03-732

MARCH 3, 2004

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT,

THIRD DIVISION,

NO. CV2002-5905,

HON. JAMES M. MOODY JR, JUDGE

AFFIRMED

Sam Bird, Judge

Appellant Valerie Williams appeals the dismissal of her request for an administrative hearing regarding the listing of her name in Arkansas's Central Registry for child maltreatment. The May 3, 2002, order of dismissal by the administrative law judge reflects the following findings of fact:

1. On 7/26/93 and 3/20/97 reports were made to the child abuse hotline regarding alleged maltreatment of KA and RK, juveniles.

2. Subsequently a finding of child maltreatment was substantiated. The investigations were completed and determined to be true and closed on 8/5/93 and 4/28/97.

3. On 3/19/02 Ms. Williams filed an appeal with the Appeals and Hearings Office (OAH), and requested an administrative hearing.

The law judge found that Williams's request for an administrative hearing was statutorily barred because it was brought more than two years after completion of the investigation, and that OAH has no authority to order that her name remain on or be removed from the Child Maltreatment Central Registry. The circuit court affirmed the law judge's findings and ruled that Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-512(c) (Repl. 1999), which prohibits an appeal after two years from the completion of a child maltreatment investigation, was not unconstitutional as applied to Williams.

Williams raises two points on appeal. First, she contends that the trial court erred in holding that Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-512 is constitutional as applied to her because there is no record that she received notice of the accusations against her; therefore, she contends that she was denied the opportunity to have a hearing. Second, she contends that the trial court erred in finding that the failure to give notice did not toll the thirty-day and two-year limitation periods. We are unable to address these issues because Williams has not produced an adequate record for our review.

The arguments Williams presents on appeal are the arguments made to the circuit court. As in Hankins v. Department of Fin. & Admin., 330 Ark. 492, 954 S.W.2d 259 (1997), these arguments apparently are based on the incorrect premise that the appellate court reviews the circuit court's decision in an appeal from a proceeding by an administrative agency. Both circuit and appellate court review of administrative agency decisions is limited in scope, and appellate review is directed to the decision of the administrative agency rather than to the decision of the circuit court. Arkansas Dep't of Human Servs. v. Thompson, 331 Ark. 181, 959 S.W.2d 46 (1998). Williams makes no showing that the issues and arguments she presents on appeal were raised to the administrative law judge. The "abstract of testimony" in her brief includes a statement to the circuit court by Terri Hayes, with the Office of Chief Counsel, that the only information available is a computer entry showing two findings of child maltreatment made upon the standard of "some credible evidence"; Hayes also stated that the central registry file contains neither an administrative investigative file nor a notice of hearing. Williams presents no interrogatories, subpoenas duces tecum, nor affidavits indicating that there is no administrative file to review. Neither is there an affidavit or letter or testimony from Williams verifying that she never received notice that her name had been listed on the registry. The record in its current form fails to include documentary proof that Williams is listed on the central registry.

It is incumbent upon an appellant to bring up a record sufficient to show error; we cannot review the agency's decision when we do not have the complete record of proceedings in the administrative agency before us. Hankins v. Department of Fin. & Admin., supra. We summarily affirm the order of dismissal because a proper record has not been brought up before us.

Affirmed.

Stroud, C.J., and Vaught, J., agree.