Tucson mom added to Arizona’s ‘Central Registry’ blacklist wins court challenge



(The Center Square) – A Tucson mother accused of child neglect was vindicated after a trial judge allowed the Arizona Department of Child Services to drop its lawsuit.

The mom, known as “Sarra L.” in court documents, was charged with child endangerment and her name was placed on Arizona’s Central Registry list because she left her son at a park without her.

The Goldwater Institute and Pacific Legal Foundation defended Sarra after the department put her name on its Central Registry, a list that “forbids a person from working or even volunteering with children or vulnerable adults for 25 years,” according to the news release.

Arguing that the department’s actions violated state and federal constitutions, Sarra appealed to the Maricopa County Superior Court.

After the briefing was completed, the department’s lawyers sought to withdraw its accusations, according to a June 20 news release.

When Sarra left her seven-year-old son at a local playground while she went to a grocery store in Pima County, prosecutors eventually dropped those charges, but the Department of Child Services still placed Sarra’s name on Arizona’s Central Registry, essentially a “Do Not Hire” list that the state maintains for anyone accused of harming children, according to the case overview.

Arizona law does not require that a person be convicted of a crime to be placed on the Central Registry. It only requires “probable cause,” or suspicion, that a person harmed a child.

“Arizona’s Central Registry law gives unaccountable bureaucrats power to list their names as child-abusers—ruining their reputations and depriving them of work or even of opportunities to serve the community—based on unproven suspicion of wrongdoing, according to the case overview.

The Goldwater Institute and Pacific Legal Foundation have joined forces to challenge the constitutionality of Arizona’s Central Registry.

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