Like being served with a law suit, receiving an administrative complaint requires a response or else you waive any defenses to the charges set-forth in the administrative complaint and you will be defaulted. Failure to submit a timely written response causes the complaint to be sent directly to the Board’s disciplinary subcommittee for final sanction determination.
Attempting to answer the complaint yourself can have a significant impact on your chances of getting the complaint dismissed or securing a reasonable settlement. Any response must be carefully worded. The important issues of your case must be preserved while still being responsive to the allegations. To respond to an administrative complaint properly an attorney should investigate the issue, gather vital records to ensure the responses are honest, accurate and address defense of the administrative complaint.
You should seek the advice of an attorney prior to drafting a response on your own. Representing yourself in an administrative complaint does not usually yield favorable results. An Assistant Attorney General or Corporation Counsel with significant experience will be representing the state. Likewise, the primary duty of professional Boards is to protect the public. You must fully present your argument in the best light to show that you are not a danger to the public. You will be outmatched and ineffective in defending without a seasoned administrative law attorney. While the complaint may have no grounds, the potential risk of damage to your career far outweigh the cost of an attorney. An experienced professional licensing/administrative law attorney can help achieve a dismissal or greatly reduce sanctions. Call Delegal & Poindexter today if you have received an administrative complaint.
When the Florida Department of Health (DOH) files an administrative complaint against a health professional seeking to take action against their license, an election of rights form will accompany the complaint. The form notifies the licensee of the right to a hearing and affords the option to select an informal or formal hearing.
Informal hearings are held before the professional board, while formal hearings are held before an administrative law judge. The main difference between the two types of hearings is informal hearings cannot determine facts. Informal hearings are often chosen by a licensee who does not dispute the facts alleged in the complaint but wants to ask the board for mercy. Informal hearings, also known as board hearings, are not the best option for the facts are usually in dispute. Formal hearings are used when the facts are in dispute and the licensee seeks justice.
Yes. A formal administrative hearing should always be elected. An administrative hearing gives you the opportunity to be heard. If you elect not to exercise your right to a formal administrative hearing, the evidence gathered by state investigators against you will be seen as true as the board reviews your complaint. You will also lose the right to test the allegations at a formal hearing before an administrative law judge.
Seek the advice and assistance of a knowledgeable attorney committed to representing health professionals facing administrative complaints. Delegal & Poindexter’s goal is to protect our clients and their reputations. If you received an administrative complaint, please call us immediately. We want to protect your career.