How long does an Arizona Good Cause Exception take?

How long does an Arizona Good Cause Exception takeThe good cause exception is a special remedy that can be used in the event that an applicant for a fingerprint clearance card was denied by the Arizona Department of Public Safety of a fingerprint because of past criminal history. The good cause exception can be used as an appeal an remedy to obtain a fingerprint clearance card.  But, the length of time required to obtain a good cause exception varies upon different circumstances.

The period of time needed for the good cause exception application process is dependent on a variety of parameters.  However, from the time the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting receives a complete application package as well as the criminal records that we obtain from the DPS, the Board will perform an expedited review within twenty (20) days. A period of seven (7) to ten (10) days will pass by to be able for the Board to get a hold of your criminal records as soon as they receive your application.

During the expedited review, the Board has the power to grant your fingerprint clearance card or deny it which automatically entitles you to a hearing. In the event that you must appear at a hearing, the process may add up to four (4) months. Several factors that may affect the processing of the application contain the following:

  • If your application is complete upon submission: An incomplete submission will toll the processing period as the Board cannot process it if there are requirements that have not been met or documents that need to be obtained first.
  • Time needed to complete the application: The period of time it takes you to complete your application.
  • Criminal Documents: Whether you have all of the necessary criminal documents.

In general, the length of time can vary wildly depending upon the factors listed above.

If you wonder How Long Does an Arizona Good Cause Exception Take contact Chelle Law.

How long does it take to get an Arizona fingerprint card?

How long does it take to get an Arizona Fingerprint CardOne question many Arizona fingerprint clearance card applicants ask is How Long Does it Take to Get an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card?  The process of getting the fingerprint clearance card is basically dependent as to whether or not the applicant has a criminal history.  Additionally, other factors that may affect the length of time include the submission of proper and complete documents and following the application’s directions. Now, assuming that all requirements and documents are furnished correctly, and all all of the directions are followed properly, a fingerprint clearance card is issued in about a month to a month and a half for applicants who does not possess any criminal history.

However, for applicants that possess criminal history needing research as regards final decision may take up to two (2) months or more.  Again, results are basically dependent upon the terms of the processing time of Arizona Department of Public Safety as well as the FBI background check, which varies.

There is also a Livescan fingerprint collection method, that is very efficient at recording all the information of most individuals’ fingerprints.  This is important because there will be some cases where a person’s fingerprint appears to be unreadable by the FBI automated fingerprint automation system. In these types of scenarios, the Arizona agency notifies the person in terms of the fingerprint rejection. The person will then reschedule a fingerprint collection free of charge if the fingerprints were gathered at a Livescan location. Of course, additional fees will be charged if fingerprints were collected at a non-Livescan location.

Finally, if the Board approves your application (when you have a criminal history and must apply for a good cause exception), the Board transmits a letter to the DPS, which issues the clearance card. The letter requests the DPS to issue a fingerprint clearance card. Simply put, as soon as it receives the Board’s letter, DPS will issue the card within two (2) weeks.

If you would like to know How Long Does it Take to Get an Arizona Fingerprint Card contact Chelle Law.

Difference between Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card

Difference between Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance CardThere is specific distinctions between Level I and standard fingerprint clearance cards with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  approximately eight (8) years ago, a new law took effect that designated two classes of fingerprint clearance cards instead of having only one class.  Starting on in July of 2009, DPS began issuing Level I fingerprint clearance cards, in addition to the standard fingerprint clearance cards.

There are several types of criminal convictions that can lead to the suspension or denial of a Level I fingerprint clearance card in Arizona. In other words, the Level I fingerprint clearance card is a bit more complicated to obtain and keep. The new law requires a number of different profession to possess a valid fingerprint clearance card before the issuance of a certificate, license, or engaging in gainful employment as a professional. The Applicant Clearance Card Team (ACCT) at the DPS Arizona receives, assesses and reviews applications as well as criminal history records of all applicants. They also update the present status of current fingerprint clearance cards.

Level I cards are needed for several activities or professions.  Listed below are the state Agencies that requires a Level I fingerprint clearance card in order to engage in the profession:

    • Adoption, Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Board of Fingerprinting members and employees
    • Child care group home employees, Department of Health Services (DHS)
    • Child care group home licensees, DHS
    • Child care home providers, DES
    • Child care employees, DHS
    • Child care facility licensees, DHS
    • Child Protective Services (CPS) employee, DES
    • Day care home providers, DES
    • DES contractors
    • Developmental-home licensure, DES
    • Division of Developmental Disabilities employees, DES
    • Foster-home licensure, DES
    • DES information-technology employees
    • Non-CPS employees, DES

*In the event your professional agency is not listed above a standard fingerprint clearance card is sufficient.

In some scenarios, people who possess fingerprint clearance cards that were issued prior to the passage of the new law can use their old fingerprint clearance card in lieu of a Level 1 Clearance Card.

When does Arizona Fingerprint Board make a Final Decision

Arizona Fingerprint Board Final DecisionAfter a hearing for a good cause exception or central registry exception is held the administrative law judge will file an order with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting either granting or denying the license. The decision is based on the law and the facts presented by the applicant at the hearing. But, it is only recognized as a recommendation and is not yet final and executory. It is the Board that will make a final decision by modifying, rejecting or adapting the recommendation of the administrative judge.

Actually, the Board will hold another proceeding to decide as to whether or not the recommendation should be adopted. A quorum of at least three (3) but normally five (5) Board members shall be present. The Board is a collegial body that represents some of Arizona’s agencies that necessitate fingerprint clearance cards. Under the law, twenty (20) days before the hearing, the Board shall send a notice of hearing with designated time and place. You have the right to be present but is not mandatory. You will only be allowed to observe the proceedings but you will not be given the freedom to present evidence or speak on your behalf.

Together with the notice, you will also receive the judge’s recommendation. In the event that you do not agree with the administrative judge’s recommendation, you can submit a written motion ten (10) days before the hearing subject to review by the Board. Presentation of new evidence cannot be included in your written motion. Ergo, you have to ensure that you present all pieces of evidence on or before the administrative hearing.

At the onset, the Board members will have an interpellation, if needed. They will come up with a decision to accept, reject or modify the administrative recommendation. After the hearing, you will have an idea as to whether your application has been denied or not.

Note: Never contact the Board members before the hearing regardless whether your reason is justifiable or not. In the event that you endeavor in getting in touch with the Board member, your application will be denied outright. The Board will have to make a decision within eighty (80) days after your hearing for applications received on or after 09 September 2007. Unluckily, the proceeding is regarded as a bit daunting, given the legal parameters that the Board has to follow.

Good Cause Exception Hearing Tips

Good Cause Exception Hearing TipsGood Cause Exception Hearing Tips are available for applicants for an Arizona fingerprint clearance card with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting who were not approved under the expedited review on Good Cause Exception shall appear at an administrative hearing to show that their past crimes are no longer an issue.  The hearing is overseen by an administrative law judge in Phoenix, Arizona with the Office of Administrative Hearings. The fingerprint card applicant has the right to submit witness testimony (in person or by affidavit) and the applicant can give testimony to the judge to justify that they have been rehabilitated, and are unlikely to commit another crime.  This is the time for the applicant to showcase why they should be given a good cause exception.

Good Cause Exception Hearing Tips

  • Time-Frame:  The hearing shall be held within forty five (45) days of the completion of the expedited review.  However, the applicant could  have the hearing within 20 day’s of notice if they comply with due process. Thus, the hearing could take place between 20-45 days of the expedited review unless the applicant files a motion to reschedule for justifiable reasons.
  • Reschedule: Under exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for you to reschedule your hearing for a later date by submitting a written request for a delay to the judge.  In the event that you have obtained a formal notice of hearing, the basic assumption is to attend on your scheduled hearing date.  Failure to attend without any justifiable cause will likely result in the denial of your good cause exception.
  • Telephone: The administrative judge may give a freedom for an individual to appear at a hearing using a telephone under exceptional circumstances. So, a mere inconvenience will not justify “hearing by telephone”.  By submitting a written statement/motion explaining undue hardship of appearing at the hearing, the applicant might be allowed and granted the request.
  • Disabilities: Applicants with disabilities can be granted accommodations such as Language interpreters by notifying the Board upon reasonable time to come up with special arrangements with the help of American Sign Language Associations. Sign language interpreters have limited availability due to budget constraints. However, applicants are not prevented from bringing their own interpreters.
  • Final Decision: After the hearing, the judge will then send a recommendation to the Board. The judge will have eighty (80) days to send the decision.
  • Character Witnesses: An applicant may bring people to serve as character witness. Friends, co-employees, employers may be brought but space in the room may be restricted. It is best recommended to bring not more than three (3) people subject to the judge’s discretion. An attorney can appear to speak on your behalf but is not a mandatory requirement.
  • Dress:  You should wear clothes that present a professional image.  Wearing scrubs, shorts, t-shirts, etc., are not considered professional attire.

If you have more questions about Arizona Good Cause Exception Hearing Tips contact Chelle Law.


How to Request a Fingerprint Board Telephone Hearing

Fingerprint Board Telephone HearingIf you have a good cause exception or central registry exception hearing with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting (“Board“) the administrative law judge (with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings) may give you the freedom to participate in the hearing telephonically (over the phone). To be eligible for a fingerprint board telephone hearing, the fingerprint clearance card applicant must show that undue hardship would manifest if he attended the hearing personally.  An undue hardship is generally defined as special or specified circumstances that exempt a person from performance of a legal obligation, so as to avoid an unreasonable or disproportionate burden or obstacle.  However, administrative law judges rarely grant said requests to participate in the hearing via telephone (they want to see the applicant in person).

Written Request for Telephone Hearing

If you are attempting to request a hearing by telephone, a written motion (request) must be submitted to the Board staff.  You have to submit this request as soon as you get a hold of such notice of hearing either by email, mail, or fax.  The written request should contain a detailed explanation about the reason you can only participate through hearing by telephone. You must fully explain why an undue hardship exists and why you cannot make accommodations to participate in the hearing in person.

Personal Appearance is Required at the Fingerprint Board Hearing

However, if you do not receive an authorization from the Board to participate in hearing through telephone, you have to personally attend the hearing. Failure to obtain authorization from the Board before your scheduled hearing is tantamount to denial of your written request. Thus, failure to attend your hearing in person will likely cause the denial of your application for good cause exception or central registry exception.

If you need assistance with your Arizona Fingerprint Board Telephone Hearing request contact Chelle Law.