Doe v. Department of Health & Human ServicesAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court affirming the decision of the Department of Health and Human Services to deny John Doe’s request for a review of the Department’s 2003 substantiation of him for sexual abuse of a minor, holding that the Department’s denial of Doe’s request as untimely violated Doe’s procedural due process rights.
In 2003, the Department mailed a letter to Doe informing him that he had been substantiated for sexual abuse of a minor. When the Department substantiated Doe, a paper review established by a 2000 Department policy was the only appeal process available to an individual seeking to challenge a substantiation fining. The Department did not adopt the 2000 policy pursuant to the Maine Administrative Procedure Act (APA). In 2017, the Department notified Doe that, based on his 2003 substantiation, his presence in a home where children were residing could lead to the removal of those children. Doe requested a hearing to review his 2003 substantiation, but the Department denied the request as untimely. The superior court affirmed. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment, holding that the Department’s 2000 policy was judicially unenforceable, the 2003 Department letter constitutionally flawed, and the Department’s denial of Doe’s request as untimely a violation of Doe’s procedural due process rights.