Attorney Ellis has focused her career on the practice of Juvenile law. After many years in this field, she knows the practices, procedures and processes of the Department of Children and Families inside and out. Dealing with DCF in all types of cases (juvenile, family etc) is her specialty.
What types of Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) cases can attorney Ellis handle?
Attorney Ellis is available to assist you with care and protection legal cases in Bristol county and fair hearings throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
I had a 51A supported and I want to appeal it. Can Attorney Ellis help me?
DCF offers administrative process for appealing their decisions called a fair hearing. You can appeal a supported 51A, being listed as an alleged perpetrator in the DCF central registry and other DCF decisions. Attorney Ellis can prepare your appeal for you and argue it at the fair hearing. Often flat fee rates are available. Once you get the letter stating the decision to support the allegations you have 30 days to file the appeal.
I am a foster parent and I want to appeal a DCF decision. Can Attorney Ellis help me?
Foster parents have rights to appeal certain decisions made by DCF via a fair hearing proceeding. Attorney Ellis can prepare your appeal for you and argue it at the fair hearing. Often flat fee rates are available. Once you get the letter stating the decision you have 30 days to file the appeal.
What is a legal Care and Protection case?
When DCF has removed the child(ren) from the home due to concerns for abuse or neglect they will file a legal case in the Juvenile or Probate and Family Court. The legal case is called a Care and Protection case (often called a “C&P”). It is an ongoing legal case in which the custody of the children is in dispute. It is important to note that parents and guardians are entitled to free legal representation in these cases if you meet certain income guidelines.
What can Attorney Ellis do for me in a legal Care and Protection case?
Attorney Ellis will explain to you in depth what your legal options are and how they apply to your case. Attorney Ellis will help you make important decisions about the case and navigate the often confusing and frustrating clinical and legal process. She will assist you in obtaining the best result possible for your particular situation. Attorney Ellis will advise and assist you in working with DCF to resolve the case prior to trial. If the case is not resolved, she will zealously argue your position in front of the Judge so a decision can be made. She will be available to answer all of your questions and concerns.
What will a DCF case cost me?
Attorney Ellis offers free phone consultations where she will evaluate your particular case and what it will cost. Attorney Ellis will require a “retainer” to enter an appearance in a legal matter. A retainer is a lump sum of money which is determined on a case by case basis. The retainer is held in a special client funds bank account. Funds are billed from the retainer for work that is completed on your case on a monthly basis. If the case is not completed before the retainer is exhausted, a second retainer is needed. Any money in the retainer that is not used at the completion of the case is returned to the client. The hourly rate and amount for the retainer will depend on the particular issues in the case but also depends on the number of contested issues, the complexity of issues, the contentiousness of the parties and other factors. Fair hearings can often be done at a flat rate. During a free consultation, Attorney Ellis will assess your case and discuss the retainer or flat rate (if applicable) needed to start work on the case.