Some time ago, you received your license from the state of Louisiana to practice your profession. You practiced your profession for years, even decades, and the only contact you had with your licensing board was your completion of a license renewal application, mailing that renewal with a fee to the licensing board, and receipt of your renewed license.
However, this time, you received a letter from your licensing board that does not appear to be like the prior license renewal letters. No. This letter alleges that your actions in the practice of your profession did not conform with the rules of your profession. In short, you are the subject of a professional complaint, which if proved may lead to revocation, suspension, annulment, or withdrawal of your license.
As your licensing board is a governmental entity, you are entitled to the due process of law as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of American and the Constitution of the state of Louisiana. Part and parcel of this due process, is your right to participate in an informal conference with your licensing board officials concerning the complaint. This conference provides for a two-way flow of information. One flow of communication is from the licensing board officials to you further explaining the particular facts from which this complaint arose. (Sometimes, the notice does not state the facts with a great degree of particularity, and this is a way to find out these specific facts.) One flow of communication is from you to the licensing board officials whereby you will provide additional facts to show that you acted in compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of your licensing board, and as such, a formal complaint is not warranted.
Your due process right in this regard is set forth in Louisiana Revised Statutes, Chapter 49, Section 961(C), i.e., La. R.S. 49:961(C). This statute provides:
C. No revocation, suspension, annulment, or withdrawal of any license is lawful unless, prior to the institution of agency proceedings, the agency gives notice by mail to the licensee of facts or conduct which warrant the intended action, and the licensee is given an opportunity to show compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of the license. If the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, summary suspension of a license may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined. (Emphasis added.)
While the licensing board must offer you the right to this informal conference, you are not required to participate. However, it may be in your best interest to attend this conference to discover more about the facts that are in possession of your licensing board. Once you have discovered this information, you are under no obligation to explain your actions or participate any further in the conference.
Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today.