GL-og, A Law Blog

Removing the Mystery from the Legal Process

Informal Conference Preceding Institution of Formal Complaint

Adrian LaPeyronnie - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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. 

Your Occupational License

Adrian LaPeyronnie - Thursday, April 03, 2014
Q. What do the following occupations have in common?

Accountant, Acupuncturist, Addictions Counselor, Arborist, Architect, Athletic Trainer, Attorney, Appraiser, Auctioneer, Audiologist, Barber, Court Reporter, Chiropractor, Contractor, Cosmetologist, Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Dietitian/Nutritionist, Electrologist, Embalmer, Emergency Medical Technician, Engineer, Exercise Physiologist, Florist, Funeral Director, Gambling Counselor, Home Inspector, Interior Designer, Jockey, Landscape Architect, Landscape Horticulturalist, Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Message Therapist, Midwife, Registered Nurse, Nursing Facility Administrator, Occupational Therapist, Optometrist, Perfusionsit, Pharmacist, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapist, Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Plumber, Podiatrist, Polysomnography Tech, Private Investigator, Psychologist, Radiologic Technologist, Real Estate Appraiser, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, Repossession Agent, Respiratory Therapist, Sanitarian, Security Guard, Social Worker, Speech Language Pathologist, Surveyor, Teacher, Veterinarian, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor,  Wholesale Drug Distributor of Legend Drug or Devices?

A. Each of these occupations is licensed by the state of Louisiana.  

Q. What do the following state boards have in common?

Board of Certified Accountants, Board of Medical Examiners, Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority, Horticulture Commission, Board of Architectural Examiners, Board of Medical Examiners, Louisiana State Bar Association, Real Estate Appraisal State Board of Certification, Auctioneers Licensing Board, Board of Examiner for Speech Pathology and Audiology, Board of Barber Examiners, Cemetery Board, Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Court Reporters,  Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Board for Contractors, Board of Cosmetology, Board of Dentistry,  Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition, Board of Electrolysis Examiners, Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, Office of Public Health/Bureau of EMS, Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board, Board of Medical Examiners, Horticulture Commission, Board of Home Inspectors, Board of Interior Designers, Racing Commission, Board of Practical Nurse Examiners, Board of Nursing, Licensed Professional Counselor Board of Examiners, Board of Massage Therapy, Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Examiners of Nursing Facilities Administrators, Board of Nursing, Board of Optometry Examiners, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Physical Therapy Examiners,  State Plumbing Board, Board of Private Investigators, Board of Examiners of Psychologists, Board of Radiologic Technology Examiners, Real Estate Appraisal State Board of Certification, Real Estate Commission, Board of Nursing, Office of Financial Institutions, Board of Examiners for Sanitarians,  Board of Private Security Examiners, Board of Social Work Examiners, Department of Education,  Board of Veterinarian Examiners, Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Board of Examiners and Board of Wholesale Drug Distributors?

A. These are occupational licensing boards for the state of Louisiana.

 

A list of the Louisiana licensing boards and the respective occupations licensed by these boards can be found here. While this listing is thorough, it does not represent all of the Louisiana agencies and Louisiana commissions that regulate and license various occupations.

If you receive any notice of complaint against you from the state board which regulates your occupation, it is best to seek the services of an attorney .  Complaints are not to be taken likely, as they may affect your ability to earn a living.  An occupational license is your property right, and it may not be denied, amended, suspended, or revoked without due process.  You should seek out an attorney skilled and practicing in the area of administrative law upon receipt of any notice of complaint to protect your occupational license, that is, your license by which you earn a living. 

While the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Louisiana provide protections to you and your property right in your license, in Louisiana there are two other possible sources of law providing both substantive due process and procedural due process to you when your occupational license is at issue.  The first source of law providing you protection is the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act.  This Act provides a general framework for the regulation and licensing of occupations regulated by the state of Louisiana. The second source of law protecting your rights to your professional license are the  law, rules and regulations of the specific state board, commission or agency regulating your occupation.  When a state board, commission or agency has its own particular law, rule or regulation, it will supercede the provisions of the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act in most instances.

In future posts, I will discuss legal protections that you may have concerning occupation license application, occupational license renewal, occupational license amendment, occupational license suspension and occupational license revocation.

 

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.